1. What inspired you to write Soldier Hill?
True events that seem so bizarre in retrospect. Growing up, there was a memorial for a boy who was killed in the Vietnam War that was removed and discarded to make way for new construction. It's something that has continued to disturb me all these years later. Soldier Hill is not meant to demonize those responsible, rather a way to make things right.
2. Are Eddie and David based on anyone you know?
Eddie and Dave are like most fictional characters--composites of people we know. Bits from one, bits from others. Of course, spoken through the first person, Eddie is my hero--the kid that sees the need to fix the situation, trying to muster the courage, against all odds, to stand up, and do something about it.
3. How long did it take you to write Soldier Hill?
The better part of this year. Rewriting, tweaking, etc. I actually wrote it as a short story that I posted on Triggerstreet.com a few years ago. It received alot of very good and positive reviews. The toughest part for me, like most writers, is taking that basic story, and expanding it into a bigger piece without diluting the premise and pacing. I hope I succeeded.
4. What are you currently reading?
Always reading! I just finished a very compelling read, 'Beasts Of No Nation' by Uzodinma Iweala. It's great. It follows a young school boy in a fictional African nation during a civil war. While the country is tearing apart, he is abducted by rebels and turned into a soldier to fight in the revolution. If done right, this would make a fantastic movie. Anyway, John Irving's 'Cider House Rules' is in the batter's box.
5. Are you working on another novel? If so, can you tell us anything about it?
I'm actually working on another crime novella. It's about a pair of aging mobsters who are called to do a big job for a crime boss. Crime writing was my main background before writing Soldier Hill. Hardboiled crime and coming of age stories seem to be my favorites to write. As different as they are, at this point, it seems to work for me. First and foremost, I need to be energized over something original--only then, could I dig in.
When a local soldier is killed in the Vietnam War, a memorial was created to honor his sacrifice. Years later, the memorial faces removal and demolition. Two high school buddies devise a scheme to preserve the memorial. Will the boys summon the courage to break the law? If not, a soldier's sacrifice will be forgotten.
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