andy in iraq

In the interest of recording history, I recently interviewed a friend who deployed to Iraq several years ago. I chose him because he’s honest and thoughtful, and because of his experience. He’s been on two combat deployments to Iraq and six non-combat deployments to various countries around the world. L. Andrew Arlint, who joined the […]

FREE ON KINDLE 3.19.14Before I get to promoting the Kindle book giveaway you see to the left (happening today because the war that inspired it began on today’s date in 2003), I’d like to respond to something I read in a recent review of that book.

Writers are rightly warned about responding to reviews. Whether someone liked or disliked what they read is something we should care about, but it’s nothing we should argue with, really. Beyond reading it, the review is none of our business.

This response to a review isn’t to the review itself, but to an observation included with the review that points to a preconceived idea of a certain kind of war fiction, which I was introduced to – and that has persisted ever since – with the 2007 release of Pretty Much True… in its early form, Homefront.

That preconceived idea/opinion is this:  if the novel is about war from the home front perspective and written by a woman (as Pretty Much True… is), it will, or should, probably have something to do with stoicism and picking up and carrying on and finding strength and/or faith, and so forth.

The review I’m responding to (and it wasn’t a bad one), recently posted on Amazon, concludes with this:

Continue reading

I just found this in a file while doing a search for something somewhat related. After spending so much time with Pretty Much True…, there are actually times, now, I can’t remember whether something in the book happened only in the book, or whether it’s a real memory.

A lot of Pretty Much True… rings true because I used my experience to guide the fiction, but now and then I’ll be reminded of just how many little pieces of reality also became Mia’s reality. The following true (real true, not pretty much true) account was saved as a file called “guest post,” but I don’t remember who it was for or whether it was ever sent: Continue reading

Thousands of people with loved ones deployed overseas won’t be seeing it, though, even if it did win best picture. They don’t need to. The people they love are fighting in the Middle East where their real-life vehicles are blasted into the air by skillfully planted IEDs, and where they’re trying their best to survive […]

Minimalist at its finest… There are quite a few stories in the collection having to do with a woman’s anxiety as she awaits the return of a man at war. I believe Ms. Tsetsi has some experience with that, and so it didn’t surprise me that it would be one the major themes explored in […]

A couple of weeks ago, I received an email from a blog talk radio host just hours before we were due to go live. The host, afraid to upset the show’s listeners, wanted to change topics from talking (with a book club) about Homefront’s story and characters  to talking about publishing and writing, in general, […]

Every time I hear about yet more deaths of deployed service members, I’m pulled back (as much as I can be) into 2003-2004 when Ian was in Iraq. I’m able to be pulled back because, some time ago, after he’d been home for a while, I got out of that particular hell and was able […]