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The VVA Veteran Reviews Prelude

Prelude was recently reviewed by David Wilson, a reviewer from the site “Books in Review II.” Wilson's review eloquently chronicles his reaction to the novel alongside his own experience in Vietnam. "I highly recommend this novel, both as a good read and as a glimpse into the lives of...

SD Sawyer

The VVA Veteran (Vietnam Veterans of America) Books in Review II

This week, Prelude to Reveille: A Vietnam Awakening, received another strong review from a source that means so much to this author— a Vietnam veteran. But in this case, David Willson is not only a Vietnam veteran, he’s been writing book reviews for several years for VVA (Vietnam Veterans of America) Books in Review. Married during his deployment, he said he wasn’t aware of the phrase Waiting Wife back in the 1960′s, but was interested in seeing how the author’s experience during that period compared to his wife’s, among other things. Click here to read the full review.

Before writing my book, I’d never read stories about war or the military. The only war movie I’d ever seen was a WWII one on The Late Show when I was a teenager. It was about the Sullivan brothers. I cried for days afterwards.

An author should write about what she knows. That’s the rule, and it makes sense. When I began the book, my Waiting Wife’s feelings surfaced with intensity as if they were just below the surface. I could hear internal dialogue as if I were living it now. But in order to validate a combat platoon leader’s part in the war in a way veterans would relate to and nod in agreement, I had to hear, had to know— that voice of my husband-veteran.

All I had to rely on for capturing the reality of Vietnam were my husband’s letters from the field, and long conversations about them. He proof read each chapter I wrote. I was especially interested in his comments about humping the boonies with his platoon, and the hospital scenes from Camp Zama, Japan after he was wounded. “You’re right on target,” was always his comment as he’d hand the manuscript back to me.

I wasn’t convinced I had captured that war’s reality until I began receiving many positive comments on my website and emails of gratitude for writing the book from veterans, almost all unknown to me.

Veterans and others were posting about the book on Amazon. With a 4.6 out of 5 star rating (49 ratings so far), the highest ratings come from “those who’d been there,” or waiting wives, and others who “get it!” That validates I’ve reached the target audience I hoped to reach, thanked the Americans who have needed to be and should have been thanked, decades ago.

When submitting a book for review, this author sends a whisper & a prayer that it will find its way into the hands of a qualified reviewer, someone who’s interested in the topic and can understand the author’s motive in writing the book. It’s helpful if the reviewer can relate to the book, but is essential, I believe, that the reviewer (and hopefully the reader) realize the purpose behind the book. David Willson did that! I am so grateful to him, grateful he reviewed my book and concluded, “I highly recommend this book . . .” —Oh, and the man has a wonderful sense of humor (“Gomer Pyle?” Really?!)

Thank you, David Willson, Welcome Home— and thank you for your service and sacrifice!

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