This has been an interesting year to say the least.
Marius and I received a lot of positive feedback. The most common responses to us getting published were, “That’s cool.” and “How did that happen?” with the latter often said with surprise and wonderment.
We both appreciated the “That’s cool!” and have yet to fully answer the “How did that happen?”
The short answer is that Marius Tecoanta and I were room mates in Officer Candidate School in 2004 and among the many routines of the day we had an “issued” required reading that we both could not make it through. In the little spare time we had, we decided to make up our own piece of historical fiction.
Together, we devised a story based on a German and American soldier and how they interacted on the battlefield. We crafted a plot that would have their actions connect their families in both war and peace. In 2010, Marius and I met up again and he held my feet to the fire about finishing the book.
Now the gory details. Well, not quite all of them.
We did not know what we were doing. Like many impassioned newbies, we simply thought we could write out the story, send it to a publisher and wait to get assigned an editor and a press agent. After all, it couldn’t be that hard, right?
Writing, we soon found out, was fully a second job and because we were passionate about the subject matter, we burnt the midnight oil to get it done. There were many missteps along the way and we took “discovery learning” to a whole new level. From selecting an editor, to cover art to marketing the finished product we can rightly say that we received a true education in the process of publishing.
It is possible.
One of the greatest rewards from going through this process now is that we can share the experience with our fellow Veterans and encourage them as military writers. There are many stories that may never see the light of day if encouragement and resources aren’t provided.
“So it goes.” So sayeth Kurt Vonnegut. They are simple and powerful words from a war veteran who experienced the burning of Dresden during WWII. Mr. Vonnegut was a long time advocate of getting individuals to tell their story and to grow from the process.
In September, both Marius and I will attend the Sangria Summit and offer our experience as panel guests. We are honored to be part of the 1st Annual Military Writer’s conference and look forward to both learning and to answering “How did that happen?” in more detail.
We’ll be posting live and direct from the Sangria Summit, September 12 – 14, 2012 in Denver.
Hope to see you in Denver, Colorado.
In the meantime, you might like to view this as a warm up to your words.
How Marius and Nate met their editor and co-founder with them of the Military Success Network in an upcoming post.