About The Word Hunter-Rick DeStefanis

Mississippi Author/Writer Rick DeStefanis writes below about the motivation behind his award winning Vietnam War Stories.

Rick DeStefanis, The Word Hunter

Rick DeStefanis, The Word Hunter

A military veteran and former paratrooper who served with the 82nd Airborne Division from 1970 to 1972, Rick brings a wide variety of life experiences to his writing. While his Southern Fiction, such as his novel Tallahatchie, is qualified by his lifelong residence in the South, it is his military expertise that informs his Vietnam War Stories. These include Melody Hill, the award-winning novel The Gomorrah Principle and Raeford’s MVP. An avid outdoorsman, Rick lives in rural northern Mississippi with his wife Janet, five cats and three dogs. And when he’s not fishing or photographing critters, he writes. Learn more at his Amazon Author Page.

Rick DeStefanis Writes About The Word Hunter and Vietnam War Stories

I write what I know. I grew up in the South. Therefore I write about the South. And though I write fiction, my stories are true reflections of my experiences and the people I have known. Writing southern fiction without denying the truth requires care, inasmuch as it can easily offend those we love. Southern writers seldom cross that line with cheap exhibitionism, while mimics from other parts of the country do so regularly. When I laugh and cry, it is not at or about my fellow southerners, but with them.

I served as a paratrooper in the military, and although I am not a combat veteran, I know the Vietnam era and have many personal friends who served in that war. After jump school at Fort Benning I was separated from most of my classmates and friends who went either to the 173rd Airborne Brigade or the 101st Airborne in the Republic of Vietnam while I was ordered to the 82nd Airborne at Fort Bragg. It was one of the greatest disappointments of my life, and despite later assurances from those friends who said my assignment was a tremendous stroke of good fortune, to this day I regret missing that experience.Paratroop Drop 82nd Airborne scan0014

Upon their return, many of my buddies rejoined me at Fort Bragg. While I had gone through extensive and continuous training on every weapons system, sniper, recon, and much more, they had stared the beast in the eye for a year. Most of them could talk openly with me about their experiences (usually after a few glasses of bourbon), but none would speak about them to anyone outside the military. And when I offered to write their stories as actual nonfiction accounts, each one to a man refused. They did so for two reasons: one was that they did not want to relive those horrific experiences. The second was that they were humble heroes, who had left behind some of our buddies in those mountainous jungles. In other words, I never fully understood their reasoning, but they felt unqualified to speak for those we lost.

With these men in mind, as well as all veterans who have given of themselves for their country, I attempt to produce the best Vietnam War Stories possible. And as with my southern fiction, when I write Vietnam War fiction, it is with the knowledge that I am telling the stories of these men with an unvarnished truth that reflects their experiences. They deserve that.



The Gomorrah Principle, by Rick DeStefanis is a riveting tale written with the skill and precision. In this genre blend, DeStefanis proves that he is a force to be reckoned with in the literary world. The plot is well crafted, and the pacing is spot-on. Once people read it, I think word of mouth will make DeStefanis a must-read for anyone who enjoys recent history, war stories, mysteries, and romance.
Judge, 22nd Annual Writer’s Digest Book Awards

silver-shiny-web reader5star
The Gomorrah Principle is the winner of the prestigious Readers’ Favorite 2014 Silver Medal Award for military fiction. The Gomorrah Principle works…I know it’s something I’ll remember.
Samantha  Rivera for Readers’ Favorite

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