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!