Author’s Inspiration: “Born of War … Dedicated to Peace”
Hi, everyone. Today, I’m going to talk about how I came to write my very first book, Born of War … Dedicated to Peace, back in 1995. (This link will take you to a free download of the book.)
I was still working for the Department of Defense, on the Presidio of San Francisco. The garrison had been decommissioned under the Base Realignment and Closure Act‘s 1988 directive, despite numerous efforts to prevent that happening. I worked for Sixth U.S. Army, as the Command Information Officer. All of us at Sixth Army were assured our jobs were solid for another five years at least, as we would be tenants of the National Park Service.
Six months later, we all had reduction-in-force (RIF) notices, stating that our jobs were going away and Sixth Army was to be decommissioned.
As we planned the draw-down, it became apparent that we needed a very special souvenir indeed to give to people who came to the closure ceremony. Because my job was to write about the command, I was given the task of researching and writing the copy. I wasn’t alone in the process: colleagues Michael Murphy (design/layout) and Sgt. Maj. Pat Maddox (photographic researched) were huge helps. I was also blessed to be friends with Lt. Col. (Ret.) Edward J. Erickson, PhD, who was on active duty at the time. The now-renowned historian helped me with a portion of the text where I was struggling and he was a subject matter expert.
Despite having been a writer since I was a kid, I never really imagined that I’d write a book … let alone that it would be a military history. And yet, there I was. The day I held it in my hands was one of the proudest of my life.
Born of War was a work-for-hire; I was paid to write it as part of my day job. The research proved to be more interesting than I anticipated, and I truly enjoyed working on the project.