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:

goodreadsamazon

Recent Posts

F2 my *$$ !

An Update on the Recent DeSoto County Tornado

Really? You’ve got to be kidding. Yeah, that’s the rating the National Weather Service gave the tornado—F2. Like I already said: That sumbitch sounded like an F4 Phantom on afterburner. Actually, according to the Fujita scale, they’re probably correct, but with that said, I don’t EVER want to see a F3, 4, or 5.

I’ve included some photos of the damage. You can see them on my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/RickDeStefanisAuthor/.

Janet and I are counting our blessings. It could have been much worse. Volunteers from all over the country and our own state have come in by the scores to help with the cleanup, and a massive one it is. I want to thank two groups in particular who worked to help cutup and haul the big oaks and cedars that were downed on our place.

https://eightdaysofhope.com/\

https://www.namb.net/southern-baptist-disaster-relief/

Although there remains much to be done, they did work that would have cost in the thousands, because debris removal is not covered by insurance unless it’s actually on a structure. Thank you to these two groups, my friends, and my neighbors who have helped.

I have been at odds with Northcentral Power Co-Op over some oaks they skinned back to nothing along the power lines on the front of the place. However, I will give them a hardy “Job Well Done” on their reconstruction efforts after the tornado. After seeing that almost every power line for miles was on the ground with snapped powerpoles, we felt it would be at least a week before we got our power back. Three and a half days after the tornado struck the lights came back on and I’m almost certain I could hear the angels somewhere singing Allaluia. We turned off the generator and had heat at last.

Thank you Northcentral.

And then there was the insurance company. Outstanding, no haggle service from SafeCo and Liberty Mutual to replace the roof, the gutters, gates, fences and the huge rootball hole in the drive, plus the cost of removing the tree that hit the house.

Not to forget our county workers. They have been at it now for two weeks daylight to dark cleaning up the mess, clearing the roads and hauling away debris. These guys have worked tirelessly. Special thanks go to them and our county administrators.

https://desotocountyms.gov/419/Fire-and-Emergency-Management-Agency

And last but not least: amidst all the wreckage I am still planning to have The Gomorrah Principle out in an audio edition through ACX on Amazon Audible in the next two weeks. If audio books are your thing, watch for the announcement here and on Facebook.

As for the next novel: The Birdhouse Man, it’s coming soon, but the timeline has been stretched because of the tornado. It may be another month or two. I will post it on this web-site and Facebook when it’s published.

Please send me your comments. I would love to hear from you.

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