August 22, 2011

America Goes On: A Novella - Now on Sale for $0.99

After some thorough editing and formatting, I finally released my debut novella: America Goes On. You can pick up a copy for just $0.99 at the Amazon Kindle store, at Barnes & Noble NOOK, or at Smashwords. All proceeds go toward the Kotchakorn Monica Salvette foundation, at least until she's old enough to get a job and start taking care of me and the wife.

I came up with the idea for this novella when I saw a Marine looking down as he smoked in a plywood shack at Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait, back in June 2007. This base is a logistics hub for military and civilian personnel traveling into and out of Iraq and Afghanistan. A lot of people and a lot of stories come through this purgatory in the desert. Everyone talks to each other in this environment, since there’s nothing to do but wait for your trip into the combat zone or flight back home. And then I thought about how many I’ve seen go through this hub but never make it back.

I actually wrote this story in 2008 just before I finished my time as a lieutenant in the Navy. A year earlier I was a staff weenie in the International Zone under the Individual Augmentee program. It was a good experience for me, and I was fortunate enough to come away from the sandbox with all my fingers and toes. I have tremendous respect for the troops who’re patrolling outside the wire day in day out. It’s a very stressful environment where something bad and unexpected can happen 24/7.

When I got back from Iraq, like most veterans, I was disappointed that no one seemed to care about the young men and women who never came home. We’re creating a separate class of servicemen in America where the concept of civic duty is now a joke. I hope our politicians will think more rationally before sending off a small percentage of Americans to fight a long-term war on the entire nation‘s behalf. Even the New York Times has taken notice that there is too much a separation between the military and the civilian world

The reason I took so long to publish this novella is because I wrote it just for myself and a few friends. They gave me nice feedback, but it didn’t blow them away. Then, however, came the self-publishing revolution of 2011, and my wife was pregnant with our daughter. Seeing how a few extra bucks (or baht in my case) could go a long way, I decided to throw my hat into the ring.

I dug up the manuscript on my computer and re-read it. The grammar was awful, the dialogue was stilted, and the story didn’t make sense. Using the powers of editing, both mine and my brother’s, we polished the manuscript into the version before you today. I hope that you enjoy it.

Here's the blurb:
A young veteran of the Iraq war drives across America while struggling to find his place in the country he just defended. Confronted with complacent attitudes and narrow minds, he realizes his fellow citizens don’t even understand America is at war, let alone respect his sacrifice. At least he has his fellow Marines from his second tour of duty, along with a mysterious girl who is waiting for him on the East Coast. Or so he thinks. Travel with this veteran through the barren desert of California all the way to New York City as he learns about modern America, as well as himself.

America Goes On is a 15,000-word (~65-page) novella about the 21st century reality of war in America.

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Zheng junxai5 said...
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