Me & Jack: My Passion, My Inspiration

Last year, I was invited to share a table with several other authors and we spoke informally to the teachers and media specialists who sat down with us. I'm used to talking about my books and how I got the ideas, how I always wanted to write, but when I listened to these other authors talk, they spoke openly about how they thought readers would gain from the experience of reading their books.

I'd never heard anyone talk in that way about their own book. But you know what? I liked it. I felt their conviction and belief in the story they wanted to tell.

I have the same passion for Me & Jack. I lived in the Pennsylvania mountains, and it was the best time of my growing up years. We'd leave the house for hours, climbing the mountain, building (and wrecking) forts. We ate wild blueberries right of the bushes and still collected enough for our moms to make pies. The secret cave was discovered was narrow and dark; we never knew if a bear or a mountain lion would leap out us, but we crept in anyway.

I love those years. I want to take readers over the paths of my childhood. But more than that, I want to offer readers a story that will excite them, impassion them, and inspire them to be more than what their world has limited them to.

Me & Jack is a story of sacrifice and hope--boy and dog versus world at a time of unrest everywhere--Vietnam.

Vietnam changed everything. It was the war that was never a war. It was a "police action," a "conflict. It never really broke out; it just grew bigger (as in numbers of our boys sent over), more public (more boys, more talk, more news coverage), and more transparent (violent, not a peacekeeping mission, not a skirmish or mere conflict as the government called it--this was a real war.)

Vietnam was the first war to come into people's living rooms and was being protested across the country on college campuses. Four students had already been killed at Kent State. Enough time and enough exposure to what was happening in Vietnam (and enough boys had come home messed up or not at all) that the general public hated the war and distrusted the young men coming home from it.

In Me & Jack, Dad becomes a recruiter when America feels informed enough to spit on returning soldiers.

Joshua and Jack have their own war going on with small-minded people in a town where everyone knows everyone else and trust is a hard thing to earn.

I truly believe in the power of this book. I hope you do, too.

3 comments:

Sandy Nawrot said...

I haven't forgotten Me & Jack! I have some commitments that I need to keep, then I'm going to (once again) get swept away by the world you have created! Love this post.

Charles Gramlich said...

Books certainly have power. They have played such important roles in my life.

Stephanie Blake said...

I'm so happy for you! can't wait to read Me&Jack. Congrats!