More About the Author
New Book About to Hit the Street: US NAVY SEALS
My "author copies" of the new edition of US NAVY SEALS just showed up last week and that's a pretty good sign that it will soon show up here on Amazon and in the bookstores. This seems to be my 66th book, although it gets hard to count when revisions and second editions are considered. Part of it includes a discussion of the story behind the story of the Osama bin Laden mission, written with a little help from several friends in the SOF community but including some educated guesses. At the time, the mainstream news media were dishing out the usual BS about it all, based on misleading information from the WARCOM public affairs shop. But a lot has changed in the Naval Special Warfare community since my first book on the subject and it was time for an update. If you read it and have comments -- good or bad -- drop me a line, but be sure to sign your real name, please, because I will answer your note no matter what it says.
AN ODD HISTORY FOR A WRITER
People often ask how I became a writer and generally assume that anybody who has written a lot of military books must have a passion for the process. The awful truth is that I was a poor student in high school English classes and became a writer entirely by accident. The accident was a happy one, though, and I love writing about the men and women of our modern armed forces. I really learned to write while in the Army when I corresponded with several very pretty girls. Writing those letters without an English teacher poised to pounce on every error became fun, and it paid off, too -- I am still friends with a couple of them many years later.
My training is in documentary film, a discipline that requires a lot of writing and a good ear for conversational speech. My first books resulted from documentary film productions, the first on stained glass (STAINED GLASS -- MUSIC FOR THE EYE, with Bob and Jill Hill). The book was Bob's idea and was a huge success thanks to a sweet review in Newsweek magazine. A public relations film for Exxon led to a chance meeting with Capt. James Shanower, a US Coast Guard officer who invited me to spend some time on his ship, the Morgenthau. That experience accidentally resulted in my first solo book, USCG -- ALWAYS READY, for Presidio Press, published in 1984.
Well, it was all downhill from there -- next, a book about the Army's Airborne, then another on Green Berets. "Let me do one on Army aviation!" I begged Richard Kane at Presidio Press. "Please!" He tossed me a contract for that one, then another for a book about tanks. I was hooked! Pretty soon I was neglecting my film projects and writing books instead. I thought I could quit any time and get back to honest work, but I couldn't help myself. One book followed another. I tried a twelve-step program for people who write too much, but they threw me out when the leader discovered I was taking notes for a book about it all.
In case it matters, I have lived in California most of my life, am married to a gorgeous babe named Miss April, and have lived in the same neighborhood for thirty-five years. I belong to a few organizations -- E Clampus Vitus, the UDT/SEAL Association, Association of the US Army (Life), and Author's Guild. I am working on a book about brothels and bordellos, but that's another story from Your Faithful Scribe, Hans Halberstadt.