This article is a THANK YOU to all of my wonderful ‘Fans’ and an introduction to something new.
For the past 4 years, I have been posting my writing as chapters are completed, along with Short Stories and Poems.
After the books are completed and published the material has stayed on-site for anyone to read for a small fee. BUT while the stories are in progress reading is FREE and of course, has generated huge input from this wonderful audience. That input is in the form of your sharing personal experiences, helping with the editing and a lot of encouragement.
Here are a few examples of the Comments on-site, which now number over 22,000:
Jim, Part of me feels a bit — a bit “something” for saying this. But simply, it is the truth. Whether you write of the distant past (The Cat), a possible future (Island in the Sand) or what still resonates in the present (Thirty Days) – Like a 5-year-old on his birthday or Christmas, I rip open the simple wrappings of all. Your fiction writings are outstanding. I believe that your “Thirty Days” brings forth much who’ve experienced it & other conflicts.
As I have noted previously, new and current soldiers and officers have something to learn from your writings. In all of your writings, you have the reader right there, with your characters or looking over your shoulder. So simply, thank you. Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas.
I’m reading The Cat. It speaks to my fantasy of interacting with a large feline. I can see the 30 Days link as their territory was recently described as a jungle rather than a forest. I imagine writing The Cat is R & R where, to date, all threats are removed by a large four-footed guardian angel. Keep both stories coming!
Blessings and Be Well
Some readers have suggested that I Publish the comments as a book… That would be a huge undertaking.
One thing few ‘authors’ ever discuss is the cost of “publishing” a book, be it Traditionally Published or Self Published.
I had my first book The Boy, the Mastodon Series traditionally published and then switched to Sel-publishing. The reason the subsequent books are not Traditionally published is the Publishers start dictating content. One even suggested, on Thirty Days Has September, that they find another person to be listed as an author since I was relatively an unknown entity (he suggested his son-in-law).
Obviously I opted to “self publish” AND post the books, as written, on the Author Website you are reading right now. It attracted a growing audience, but then (because I was using shared hosting) it was hacked and needed to be re-constructed on a dedicated server. The majority of the content has always been available to read for FREE.
The cost of the dedicated server and self-publishing the book is in excess of the net revenue of book sales since I started this journey.
After receiving this wonderful letter from a Fan, ChrisS I decided to start the Go-Fund-Me campaign to help offset costs and have some capital to organize another Rendezvous as we did in 2017 and 2018.
I have been a fan for over two years since purchasing the First 10 Days book due to a reference I found on Facebook. I have purchased two copies of each of the first two 10 Days books in paperback and one copy of each in hardback (I gave away the paperbacks to friends to help build your fan-base). I have also purchased all your other available books sold on your website and have greatly enjoyed them all.
Just this past week I read “The Boy” while on vacation, it was a wonderfully written and well-edited book. I am looking forward to reading “The Warrior” over the Christmas holidays (I’ll get started on the plane flight from Oregon back to Kentucky to see my daughter and her family).
I became an Arch Patton fan, having read “Down in the Valley” and “The Bering Sea” paperbacks, and the (partially written?) “Thunder Marine” segments online (it appears to end in mid-story in the online segments). I enjoy trying to figure out which parts of the books are based on your (real) personal experiences and which are additions of literacy license.
I especially enjoyed and appreciated “The Fish Doesn’t Have to Be Real” book. Some people may overlook this one in favor of your more dramatic endeavors, but I found the depth of soul in the short stories to be very touching. A wonderful look into life through the eyes of a child, and if some of the stories are based on your life experiences (as they appear to be) they reveal your great compassion for children.
I have not yet started reading “Island in the Sand” but look forward to starting the book 1 paperback that I own.
But of course, my favorite series by far (and the one that I believe you will be known for by a much larger audience someday) is your “30 Days” series. Your ability to write so vividly and transparently draws in your readers and helps them to understand the terror, heroism, humanity, inhumanity, horror, and nobility of the war experience like no other movie I have ever seen or book I have ever read. Your dedication to reading and responding to the online posts has drawn a large contingent of your readers into feeling like close friends (or even family) to you.
In one of your online post exchanges this past week you said:
James Strauss on December 10, 2019, at 11:12 am
I wonder, sometimes, if it is as important to all the ‘brethren’ that the buy the books to keep it all going. I have financed this whole thing and I am running on full empty right now!
Well, the clear answer is that your work is of great importance to all your brethren. I was so concerned when I heard about your health scare this past month that over a two-week period I spent several hours in prayer for your health, and that you would know you are appreciated and loved by so many. We have interacted several times via posts (I’m “Chris S”). A while back I suggested that you consider a “Go Fund Me” type of campaign to help with the final printing of the Third 10 Days or possibly an all-encompassing book (although I agree that would be a VERY large book and may not be feasible!).
Enclosed you will find a check for $500. This is a gift to you in thanks for pouring out your soul into your “30 Days Has September” books and all your other noble writing endeavors that I have so greatly enjoyed. This is a personal gift that you may choose to use to help offset the costs of preparing and printing the Third 10 Days book as an investment of your own (gifted) funds should you wish. Should you prefer to purchase something special for yourself or a family member for Christmas that would be fine too. Either investment would bless me greatly to know that I have in some way shown you appreciation for the heartfelt effort you have made in pouring out your soul into your books.
Here is a Video from the 2017 Rendezvous In Winfield Kansas
If you would like to help keep this project going please continue to read, share with friends (especially the BOOKS Page)
and join in the Go-Fund-Me Campaign.
I know this may not be the easiest time with the Holidays but the campaign will be there for a while.
I promise to continue on this journey to “share the rest of the Stories” regardless. Knowing you are interested in what I write is important to me and keeps me going. My timetables may be altered…
Good evening Lt,
On April 24, 2020, I contributed $100 to your GoFundMe account. The funds have been charged to my credit card, I just need to know that you received the contribution.
Semper Fi, Sir
Yes Paul, and I cannot thank you enough. Sorry I am a bit late on thanking you and the others who have helped so much.
I will be on it when I finish this segment I am working on this night…
I once told you about my lack of reading as I’ve become a bit dated. Your writing in the “First 10 Days” have brought me back to the printed word. I still find computer reading much easier. I’m like a kid reading a serial magazine or other publication of my youth and can barely wait for the next installment. That said, I’ve somehow fallen behind by a few chapters but plan to catch up during the holidays. I’ve read a few chapters in your other books and find the flow and story line to be up to your normal high settings. I only concentrate on one book at a time but believe me I will get to all of them. I have my book collection squirreled away for future generations to find. I hope I have been able to support your process and have recommended your book to many of my Vietnam veteran friends. It’s the closest thing I’ve found to time travel to a different time and age. I owe you a great debt of gratitude for reopening my spirit.
Thanks ever so much for that detailed comment in considerable depth. Thanks for the compliments too, as these come at a good time
for me as I continue to process the holidays and the completion of the third volume as well. Yakuza is another novel that will be published soon too.
Thanks again and Semper fi,
When you finish 30 daysi intend on buying a signed set to be sent to the Detroit VA.Looking forward too the next installment.
Thanks Joel, I will so do. I was hoping to be done by January 1 but life came at me again.
I have a go fund me site now to help defray expenses if you want see fit to help out there….https://www.gofundme.com/f/thirty-days-has-september