The Birdhouse Man
Research Trip to Boone, North Carolina
Over the Labor Day weekend, Janet and I made a 4-day roundtrip drive to Boone in the North Carolina Mountains—home of Appalachian State University—oh yeah, and also at one point home for a guy named Daniel with the same last name. The primary purpose was to do some research for my next book in the Vietnam War Series. So, why “Boone, North Carolina” for a Vietnam War Series book?
Let me begin with this: All my stories contain strong female secondary protagonists. Of the few negative reviews I have received, it seems the major complaint is I don’t stick to the “war” story. To those reviewers, I say “Read Sergeant Rock comic books if you want “war” stories. I write about people, yes in war, but also in love, and the effects of war on their lives afterward. I guarantee to disappoint the “Sergeant Rock” readers with this next novel—tentatively titled The Birdhouse Man. (You will have to read it to understand the title.)
It happens or I should say it begins in Boone because the story is told from the perspective of a seventy-something-year-old Vietnam War veteran as he helps a young history major at Appalachian State write her senior thesis. The novel is actually two parallel stories—the other being the student’s trials and tribulations in a family wrecked by the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome. The two stories are creating a great deal of “stop and restart” writing in an effort to blend them effectively and keep the narrative flowing. The book should be out sometime next summer.
Back in ’71, while in the Army 82nd Airborne, I did some training in the Grandfather Mountain area of North Carolina, and we revisited the park there this weekend.
Turns out Grandfather Mountain was a site well worth visiting with a nature museum, a video presentation, guides, and a wildlife display—and oh yeah, the mountain. I highly recommend a week-day or non-holiday visit. Luckily we arrived early, but later in the day, it became very crowded. Also, it is best to know how to read a map. GPS navigation is problematic in the mountains.
I look forward to your comments on this post as well as my Amazon author page. Check it out at https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00H2YO2SS