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:

goodreads amazon

Recent Posts

Rawlins, No Longer Young

Rawlins No Longer Young is now available…

Yes, this historical western novel, Rawlins No Longer Young, is now available on Amazon in three formats: the Kindle edition as well as both the paperback and hardcover editions. If you happen to be a wholesaler or bookstore, the Ingram wholesale pipeline is still about seven days from being ready for orders. For those interested in author-signed hardcovers, (yes, by yours truly), contact me via the website at Rick DeStefanis – The Word Hunter.   I will be able to provide those for a short time, on a limited basis at a flat rate of $32 dollars. Just don’t expect them overnight.

Rawlins, No Longer Young is available in Kindle, paperback and hardcover editions.

Here is the story summary: Virgil Rawlins is left without family or friends as he is swept into the maelstrom that encompasses the last years of the American Civil War. Lost in a world of brutality and inhumanity, the teenaged Rawlins matures—as did many of the Wild West’s first outlaws—with revenge and hatred as his only motivations. He heads westward before the war’s end, making his way to the town of Independence and the Oregon Trail, but along the way, he meets the remarkably beautiful Sarah McCaskey and learns that the rights and wrongs in his life cannot be defined simply as blue and gray.

When Sarah tells Rawlins of her loss to Confederate guerrilla Bloody Bill Anderson, Rawlins begins to question his own assumptions. Joining a wagon train as a hunter/scout, he heads westward into the raging Indian War of 1865. Along the way, he earns a reputation as a well-respected fighter and he must finally decide what kind of man he will be—outlaw, lawman or perhaps, neither.

Yes, as with all my protagonists, Rawlins has a woman who stands behind him, beside him and sometimes in front of him. Sarah McCaskey, like Lacey Coleridge in The Gomorrah Principle and Janie Jorgensen in Valley of The Purple Hearts, is my strong female secondary protagonist. Sorry, dear readers, I am an incurable romantic and a believer in the positive influence women have had on all men in history.

I end this blog post with one respectful request: If you like Rawlins No Longer Young, please post your review of the story on Amazon and Goodreads as soon as you read it. It doesn’t have to be a lengthy review, but the more you say about the story the better. I am posting an advertisement for the book in the November issue of True West Magazine, and it will be helpful if potential new readers see your reviews.

I would also like to receive your comments directly. Send them to me.

Please enjoy these other articles

Rawlins: Historical Fiction and Western Book

Road Trip: Jackson Hole and Rawlins Research

  1. Part Two: Wyoming and Montana Road Trip-Grizzly, Bison and Moose 4 Replies
  2. Road Trip Jackson Hole and Rawlins Research 2 Replies