Tag: Thailand

Montagnard Update, May 19th

A little progress each day adds up to big results!

I had a great call with my editor this afternoon, and I was excited because I was finally going to see the edits she had made to Montagnard. Unfortunately, this turned out to be precisely what did not happen. There will be a delay of a couple of days.

However, we did go over some of the notes she had jotted down during her editing process. For example. there were comments like:

  • Pace and flow are very good. Great character development. Good detail, but not overboard. No Fluff.
  • The narrative speaks to the reader. Good dialogue. Shows, not tell. Likes the word “however” a bit too much. (Corrected)
  • Great how friendship is developed among the team members.
  • Romance is good, well-done. Didn’t make me roll my eyes!
  • Spaghetti and meatballs are Italian/American. Won’t find in Northern Italy. (Corrected)

I was flabbergasted when she said, “I would put this work up against the top writers in the genre. The book is fantastic – very well written.

So then, what is the hold up, you may ask.

Montagnard is now being reviewed by subject matter experts!

My editor comes from a Navy family – with a long history of military service and many retired military friends. It seems she thought the book was good enough that she wanted to share it with some subject-matter experts and get some feedback from them.

So, Montagnard is now in the hands of several clandestine readers. I can’t say anymore, or they might have to kill me. That would not be good because I want to write a few more books.

One expert has responded, stating, “It doesn’t bother me.” And, according to my editor, that is very high praise indeed. This particular person doesn’t normally like to read stuff like this because it usually upsets him, leading to comments like, “They wouldn’t do that,” “You couldn’t make that shot with a rifle like that,” or simply, “That’s bullshit!” We are awaiting feedback from the remaining three. Hopefully, in the next day or two.

While I was initially disappointed by the delay. I am now thrilled. Folks, I really think it’s going to be pretty darn good. I do hope you will want to check it out.

I’ll keep you posted.

Montagnard Release Update

I just got an amazing update from my editor!

And it made my entire year! I should have the edited copy back by the end of the week and will soon be able to schedule the release date. It is a struggle to be patient with this process. While I seem to have endless patience with other people, I have never been very patient with myself. I am learning, however.

My editor is Beth Kallman Werner, the Founder and President of Author Connections, and author of Real Women’s Stories 2018. Real Women’s Stories is a collection of stories written by strong, independent women. It tells the tales of mothers, daughters, women who survived violence and abuse, built empires, traded routine for adventures, honored their families, and share thought-provoking stories that give new meaning to the term “going home.”

About Montagnard …

It seems the whole world is on hold for a bit. Thankfully, books carry on! I’m finishing up the first round. The book is fantastic.

… I’m thankful that even in quarantine, I can be outdoors in a private space … Thank you for the distraction of MONTAGNARD. I’ll always remember what I worked on this year.

Beth Kallman Werner

So, thank you, Beth, for the great comment and encouragement. I can’t wait to get the book back and continue on with the publishing process. And for those who are willing to give Montagnard a read, I really think you will enjoy it.

I believe Montagnard will read well as a stand-alone novel; however, a few sections might make a bit more sense to the reader if they have first read the book, Serpents Underfoot. Granted, it was my first, and there are a few uneven spots early on, but it smooths out nicely and is still a great read.

Check it out here!

Stuart Hopkins: No Gray Areas, An Autobiography

No Gray Areas … The Autobiography of Stuart Hopkins

stuart hopkinsStuart Hopkins is truly a real-life ‘Piano Man.” In his autobiography, No Gray Areas, Hopkins writes of his life experiences as an international hotel pianist. It is indeed quite a story, and one that will tug at your heartstrings.

From his early childhood years living with a distant, abusive father and his alcoholic mother to working as a pianist in some of the finest hotels in Southeast Asia, Stuart Hopkin’s life story runs the complete gamut from wondrous and magnificent experiences to seeing first hand some of the worst tragedy, heartbreak, and sadness life can send our way. Beginning with his first paid gig at age fifteen at the Broom Grange Hotel near his home to gigs on ships and international hotels, and through several near brushes with death, No Gray Areas, tells the fascinating tales of human interaction, some hilarious and some tragic.

 

Thailand Tsunami of 2004

In his autobiography, Hopkins tells the tale of working at a hotel in Phuket, Thailand during the Tsunami of 2004. He writes about families comforting each other in the hotel lobby bar,. These people are just happy to still be together after such a disaster. Guests were comforting complete strangers. Members of the hotel staff were hugging and crying with guests. The author writes, “The most heartbreaking thing I saw were those guests who’d come to Thailand with their loved ones. Many who would be traveling home next to an empty seat.”

Hopkins survived the tragic Tsunami  in Thailand as well as three months spent in a brutal Thai prison on false charges of fraud. He writes of having a beer in a ship’s bar with the ghost of his long dead brother.  In addition, he tells of breaking a long-standing 30-year soloing record at Norwich Flying School. These are just a few of the stories readers of this compelling autobiography will enjoy.

I recommend this book.