About The Word Hunter-Rick DeStefanis

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

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 training and expertise that informs his Vietnam War Series. These novels include Melody Hill, the award-winning novel The Gomorrah Principle, Raeford’s MVP and the latest, the 2018 Best Indie Book Award winner for Literary/Mainstream Fiction, The Valley of the Purple Hearts. An avid outdoorsman, Rick lives in rural Mississippi with his wife Janet, five cats and three dogs. And when he’s not photographing wildlife, he writes. Learn more at his Amazon Author Page.

Rick DeStefanis Writes About The Word Hunter and his Vietnam War Series

I grew up in the South, and though I write fiction, my stories are true reflections of my experiences and the people I know. Writing southern fiction without denying the truth requires care inasmuch as it can easily offend neighbors and friends. Southern writers seldom cross that line with cheap exhibitionism, while mimics from other parts of the country do so with relish in cliché-filled creations that come off like a Hollywood actor imitating a Southern accent. When I laugh and cry, it is not at or about my fellow southerners, but with them. We are a proud people, and because we speak slowly and appreciate a less chaotic lifestyle does not mean we are not intelligent or self-driven.

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. Paratroop Drop 82nd Airborne scan0014

Upon their return, many of my buddies rejoined me at Fort Bragg where I had gone through extensive and continuous training while they had stared the beast in the eye for a year. Most of them would talk about their experiences only 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 nonfiction accounts, each one to a man refused. They did not want to relive those horrific experiences and also because they were humble heroes who had left behind some of our buddies in those mountainous jungles. The “fiction” I write is closely based on the stories these men shared with me in bars around Fayetteville, North Carolina and during reunions years afterward.

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. These combat veterans have earned that along with my unfailing respect.

Rick DeStefanis books can be purchased at Amazon.com or ordered through a bookstore near you.

Please enjoy these articles about my books

Valley of the Purple Hearts

Rawlins: No Longer Young

Tallahatchie

 Connect with Rick on:

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Recent Posts

New Cover For Melody Hill

A Snapshot of The Melody Hill Story

First and foremost, a request:  If you have already read Melody Hill (or for that matter—any of my books) and haven’t yet written and posted your review on Amazon and Goodreads, I really wish you would consider doing it now. Your support and your review can make a difference.

Now, on to the latest blog post: Fantastic cover designer, Todd Hebertson (his contact info is included below), has designed a new cover for the Third Edition of Melody Hill, Book #1 in the Vietnam War Series. Also, a new,  more descriptive and concise book summary has been written for the back cover and for booksellers’ such as Amazon and Ingram to use on their sites.

The new story summary is as follows:

When Army sniper Duff Coleridge is recruited into a CIA advisor’s Special Operations Group in Vietnam, he little realizes how much of his soul he will be required to sacrifice. Vietnam is a world away from Melody Hill, his home in the mountains of east Tennessee, and Duff quickly finds the clear moral lines of life back home are blurred in the glare of an enigmatic war. His CIA boss, who seems more rogue than company man, is dealing arms on the black market while delivering a seemingly arbitrary and ruthless justice to the local populace. When Duff meets and falls in love with a beautiful young South Vietnamese woman, Lynn Dai Bouchet, he is left to his own instincts to decide if her advances are based on true affection or are merely a means of exploitation. Is she a Vietcong spy, as his CIA boss claims, or is she someone like himself, trying to do her part while making the best of a bad situation? Duff soon realizes he must get out before it’s too late, but only then discovers he is already trapped in a lethal game of cat and mouse.

The next project will be to work with Todd to redesign the cover for my Southern Fiction novel, Tallahatchie. The story summary will be updated for that one as well, along with some interior text edits. This will be the second edition for Tallahatchie when it is completed.

Check out more of Todd’s work at BookCoverArt.webs.com  and please send me your comments.

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