Tag Archives: military

FREE contest for military novels


W.Y. Boyd Literary Award for Excellence in Military Fiction; YA or adult

Deadline is 12/1/2010; prize is $5,000; no entry fee; novel must have been published (possible self-published?) during previous year. For info, go HERE: http://www.ala.org/template.cfm?template=/CFApps/awards_info/award_detail_info.cfm&FilePublishTitle=Awards,%20Grants%20and%20Scholarships&uid=8FFCC9A02188EFCA

Paying market for military history writers


Military History Quarterly pays $400 for departments and features START at $800.

Email ideas to: Military History


10 QUESTIONS FOR…J.L. Smith, “Reporting for Doodie”


Author interview with  J.L. Smithheadshot2jpugh_book_0308_fnl_front

Reporting For Doodie is my first book and I am very excited about the reviews it’s been getting!  I also do a lot of freelance writing for various business owners.  I grew up in a very small town in Pennsylvania, but felt the fire inside and had to break loose!  I left the small town at an early age and never looked back (except to visit my siblings).  Now I live in paradise…Long Beach, CA…and couldn’t imagine living anywhere else!  It has everything and I love it!

1.    Tell us about your latest book.

My book is entitled “Reporting For Doodie:  One Grandmother’s Story of Commitment, Frustration and Unwavering Love”.  

What would you do if you were a (suddenly) single grandmother and both your daughter and son-in-law were deployed at the same time, leaving you as primary caregiver for your 2-year old grandson?  You’d do exactly what I did…Report for Doodie!

So many events inspired this book…some happy, some frustrating, some sad…but all life-changing.  My story starts with one incredibly funny incident that served as an epiphany to share my story.  This was not the first time I was “Reporting for Doodie”, but it was the first time I was doing it all alone.  Or so I thought…I discovered a secret vault filled with friends I never knew I had.  Sadly, I also lost a few along the way.

I found myself in the midst of an unexpected divorce, facing the possible loss of my home and making a major career change, when someone, somewhere took a look at my proverbial “plate” and thought…”there’s a little corner of her plate that isn’t taken, she needs a toddler to care for…oh, and at the same time, let’s throw in a rarely-heard-of medical condition to make her life even more interesting”.

I hope readers enjoy my account of how this beautiful child saved me from myself and how I used ‘The Secret” to channel the inner strength my mother gave me…all compliments of the U.S. Military.

2.    How did you get started as a writer?

My mother instilled the love of the written word in me, particularly through the words of Erma Bombeck; readers of my book have been comparing my style to hers…the ultimate compliment!!

So many events inspired this book…some happy, some frustrating, some sad…but all life-changing.  My story starts with one incredibly funny incident that served as an epiphany to write the book I had always dreamed of.

3.    What does a typical day look like for you?

Up early…write anything…go to my ‘day job”…back home to write some more!

4.    Describe your desk/workspace.

Home office in one of my bedrooms.  White board on the wall that lists all my projects and their deadlines.  A “vision board” right in front of me with pictures (or other documents) depicting what I want…and will get…out of life!

5.    Favorite books (especially for writers)

Again…anything and everything written by Erma Bombeck.  Also enjoy the teachings of “The Secret”.  Anything that entertains me or makes me think.  That was the goal with my current book…making people laugh, cry and really think…and it’s been successful at doing that!

6.    Tell us 3 interesting/crazy things about you

My book was inspired by an incident that happened with my grandson…he ran out the front door of my house – in front of all my neighbors – with my vibrator in his hand yelling: “Gramma…toy…BRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!

I got myself on the Oprah Winfrey Show with one well-crafted email.  They contacted me by phone within 3 hours and days later I was in Chicago for the taping of a segment on inspirational self-reinvention stories.

I got my first tattoo at the age of 50.  I was just separated from my husband, had reinvented myself – inside and out – and feeling fabulous at 50!!  I was visiting my siblings in PA and decided to get a tattoo on the back of my neck.  It means “life and birth” because I felt reborn.  I also drug my 2 brothers and my sister (who is 65) along with me and made them get their first tattoos too…what a day!

7.    Favorite quote

Now that’s a tough one…couldn’t name just one…but some of my favorites are scatters throughout my book.

8.    Best and worst part of being a writer

Best part:  being able to express yourself.

Worst part:  there aren’t enough hours in the day to write everything I want to!

9.    Advice for other writers

Follow your dream…don’t give up.  Everyone has a story inside them…just let it out!  When I got the first copy of my book – in draft form – I began shaking.  I’ll never forget that feeling!

10. Tell us a story about your writing experience. 

Again, I must revert to the vibrator story…it was included in Redbook Magazine recently in their embarrassing stories section.  Can you imagine????

Also, when writing my book on my new laptop, I lost the entire book – twice – with no backup due to computer problems.  I guess the third time really is the charm.  I think it’s because as time elapsed while recreating it, the best ending came about with my son-in-law back from Iraq safely. 

Where can people buy your book?



10 QUESTIONS FOR…Fred Wendorf, a memoirist who sold movie rights


Author interview with Fred Wendorfwendorf-book-coverwendorf-photo

Fred Wendorf is a retired Professor of Archeology from Southern Methodist University currently living in Dallas, Texas. Fred has promoted and advanced the field of archeology through his work as a college professor, field archeologist and noted author in his field. He spends his time between Taos, New Mexico and Dallas with his wife Cindy, six children and seven grandchildren. The movie rights to Fred’s autobiography have been purchased.

1. Tell us about your latest book.

 My recent book, “Desert Days, My Life as a Field Archaeologist,” published by SMU Press, follows my life from my early years in Terrell, TX, my enlistment in the army (September 1942) shortly after my 18th birthday (July 31, 1924), and my life as a prehistorian, at first in the American Southwest, but after 1962 in Northeast Africa, in Sudan, Egypt, and Ethiopia. My book is full of humor, and some archaeology stories. I think I succeeded in my goal of writing a book that would be of interest to any intelligent reader. There are about 40+ pages about my army life as 20-year-old Second Lieutenant fighting in northern Italy until I was wounded on March 3, 1945. I spent two years in an army hospital. My right arm was paralyzed, and still is. I went back to the University of Arizona in Tucson, then to Harvard for my MA and PhD. Through luck, and the support of several senior prehistorian friends, I became involved in the effort to save the archaeological sites being destroyed by pipelines, highways, and river basins. As a pioneer in this effort my professional career was greatly enhanced. Over the years I received many awards, two of which are my election to the U. S. National Academy of Sciences, and the Lucy Wharton Medal given once every five years. I was elected President of each of the three major American archaeological societies, and President Regan appointed me to the Secretary of Interior’s Advisory Board for the National Park Service.

I have written, assembled, or edited more than 30 books, and more than a hundred articles in professional journals. All of these are technical descriptive reports and records of archeological history.

 2. How did you get started as a writer?

My first book was written while still an undergraduate after returning from the army 6 months earlier. It is a report on the excavation of a small pueblo and 15 underlying pithouses located at a place called Point of Pines, in east central Arizona. The book was published by University of Arizona Press.

3. What does a typical day look like for you?

I have just finished a two and half year writing project about my life, and now I am becoming involved in giving talks about the book and holding book signings. Three more signing events are scheduled, two in Dallas and a third in Atlanta.

4. Describe your desk/workspace.

 I have two workspaces, my home office and my office at SMU. The top of both desks are covered with letters, manuscripts, dictionaries, and sticky notes of various colors. My walls in both offices are covered with photos taken in the field and of my six children. My home office also has one wall covered with my awards and appointments, ie. National Academy of Sciences, etc.

5. Favorite books (especially for writers).

I read murder and spy novels and the Economist.

6. Tell us 3 interesting/crazy things about you.

I am a hard worker. I like people. I spent forty-four field seasons, each 8 to 10 weeks long, in Egypt and Sudan, mostly in the Western Sahara.

7. Favorite quote.


8. Best and worst part of being a writer.

It is hard work, but produces great pleasure when my book or my article is published and I read the publication for the first time.

9. Advice for other writers.

Stay with it IF you enjoy it and like the results!

10. Tell us a story about your writing experience.  

My recent book “Desert Days: My Life as a Field Archaeologist” has the wrong dates for the deaths of both my mother and my father. I will correct this goof if we have a second printing.


Where can people buy your book?

Copies are available through Amazon, http://www.amazon.com/Desert-Days-Life-Field-Archaeologist/dp/0870745247/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1233954915&sr=1-1


 Barnes & Noble, http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Desert-Days/Fred-Wendorf/e/9780870745249/?itm=4


Borders, http://www.borders.com/online/store/TitleDetail?sku=0870745247