Joyce H. Winfield

Although I’ve lived in Fremont, Nebraska, longer than any other place, I still think of Osceola, Nebraska, as “home.” It’s where I spent an idyllic childhood and where my love of reading increased after I got my first public library card.

My journey as an author began with one published book in 2017 and ends with that book. I’m a journalist and retired educator who had no aspirations of writing any book beyond my Ph.D. dissertation. Forever Heroes was an unplanned afterthought. My intention was to interview a World War II, Korea and Vietnam veteran because I knew he had a story to tell. I would submit his story for publication in a magazine around Veteran’s Day. That was my plan.

However, the single path ahead became diverted to include 20 additional paths. I vaguely remember a friend suggesting, “Why don’t you interview several World War II veterans and write a book?” Why not? Coincidentally, the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor was December 7, 2016. So, why don’t I have the book ready for distribution by Veteran’s Day 2016. Why not? In less than a year, Forever Heroes was published telling the stories of 21 World War II veterans. The entire process was almost chaotic, but I always tried to remain organized. All veterans’ chapters were in different phases of completion. Rarely was there a blank day square in my planner.

Writing Forever Heroes changed my life. I admit that I now really like having many blank squares in my planner. Unlike characters in a book of fiction, I have become emotionally attached to real people. It has been a joy getting to know my veterans beyond their World War II years. I call them my Forever Friends.

Reflecting on my Forever Heroes multi-path journey, the best advice I have for writers is to begin with an organizational plan. It may have to be tweaked, but stick with the plan. And, by all means, allow a few blank day squares in your planner.


Would you like a copy of FOREVER HEROES for free–just for the asking? Click on the image below to learn more about this book and to request one, for free!

Forever Heroes Book Mockup
Forever Heroes