Thursday, November 12, 2009

Why Didn't My Father Write a Book?

"So, who are we seeing tonight as part of the Ft.Worth Star Telegram Author Series?" I asked Ann.
"Jeff Shaara."
"Who?" Well, turns out I did recognize some titles the man has written as a New York Times list author. He wrote Gods and Generals, a prequel to his father's Pulitzer prize winning novel The Killer Angels, a book about Gettysburg. Specializing in military fiction, he went on to write the sequel too. (His father died at age 59 from a heart attack, before success hit - book and movie). Jeff picked up the torch and ran fast. He then hit the American Revolutionary War, the Mexican-American War, World War I, and now finished a trilogy on WWII. (Latest is No Less Than Victory) Actually his trilogy will have four books - three in Europe and one on the Pacific.

Jeff Shaara's key is characters. He loves the history but he seeks out the interesting characters and brings them to life through the common man. His enthusiasm was contagious and it seemed appropriate that his Q&A was on Veteran's Day. Held at UTA, there were ROTC candidates in the audience. When Jeff Guinn, our host for the night, asked for veterans to rise, the room was full of men and women standing. Wow!

From the sound of it (and yes, I plan on reading a Jeff Shaara book or two or...), he's been respectful of our armed forces and heroes and portrayed them well, both on and off the battlefield. Thanks to UTA, Star-Telegram, and the Trust Funds that helped underwrite the night. Interesting and compelling.

Okay, so I was driving to the talk, when my car turned over 100,000 miles on HWY 157. Yikes. The old Pontiac Grand Am GT has worked hard for me. I told Ray I hit 100K and he asked, "Words?" Not quite there on NaNo - I should cross 20K tonight. Maybe someday I'll write a 100K word novel - sounds daunting. I'm aiming for 50K by November 30th and an oil change!

1 comment:

  1. Maybe your dad could write the prequel to your 100k novel - just a thought. You both have the humor gene so both books would be hilarious.