When an author writes a book proposal, they often invent profiles of prospective readers; the purpose is to help a publisher envision what type of reader might buy that book. When I first heard about Mamta Chaudhry’s forthcoming novel, HAUNTING PARIS, it felt as if my picture should have been used in her book proposal. The book checks off just about every topic I could ask for: Paris? Check. An old, handwritten letter? Check. WWII? Check! A compelling history-mystery? CHECK!
Today’s the day: the release of Marcel’s Letters as a paperback! I made a video to tell you about some of the differences in the paperback — and to share a special extra. Take a look!READ MORE
Someone recently asked to see a photo of Hoover, so I went through old photos looking for one showing his gray jowls puddled on the floor — it was a common sight in his last years. Looking through the old photos made me miss our sweet old boy. We still miss him so.
I had the honor of meeting Kay N. Sanders a couple of days ago at the Fox Cities Book Festival. She mentioned this poem, and I’m delighted she has allowed me to post it here. I hope you are touched by Kay’s reflection on her mother’s handwriting.
Perhaps it was because he was the only other living person in the graveyard. But the old white-haired man, sitting with a straight back on a stack of wooden stools caught my attention. Or, perhaps it was the sound of his work that piqued my curiosity; the graveyard was silent other than the tapping of his mallet.
Somewhere in France
My Dearest Wife:
Well Christmas is here an gone. It didn’t even seem like Christmas just like another day. Christmas Eve we didn’t get in till about six. After we ate I washed and shaved. Was [illegible due to paper damage] to a little party they were having over in his Co. Then we were going to go to midnight services. READ MORE
25 December 1943
A few more hours and our xmas will be over, (4 to be exact). Yours is all over already. In fact you and Mike are more than likely tucked away in bed by now because it is 2 o’clock in Eau Claire.READ MORE
24 December 1943
Dearest little Mother,
Just a short time ago we finished with morning (9 A.M.) sick call. I have had indications that today might be a very busy one so thought I’d better get off your daily letter early.
Tonight is Xmas eve and I can just see you hanging up a little pair of stockings by the chimney with care. What are you giving Mike for Xmas dear? Pretty hard to think of things for a little tyke like that isn’t it? Gosh I’d certainly like to be with you tonight. I will in spirit anyway, especially when I am in church tonight. I’ll say a prayer for the best little family in the world.READ MORE
Dec. 22, 1942
Received two letters of yours, today. One written the 23rd of November, the other a v-mail letter written the 31st of August, the new and the old.
Don’t you ever change the way you have been writing your sweet letters! I’ll admit they just about knock me off my feet, but it’s just what I want to hear. I wish I could put into words what I have in my heart and mind, but I am afraid I would make a mess of it. Perhaps you’ll remember some of [the] things I told you a long time ago. It all goes double, now.READ MORE
Per Daniel Ford of Writer’s Bone, “2017 was a remarkable year for fiction and nonfiction. From fearless debut novelists to established literary veterans at the top of their games, authors provided the artistic tonic we needed to survive a turbulent time both politically and culturally.READ MORE
One question that has come up at almost every book club I’ve visited with is, “What does Aaron look like?” His photo isn’t in the book, which seems to be a disappointment to readers.
He’s camera shy; that’s the official reason, anyway. READ MORE
February 15, 1945
My dear young men:
A card to you from not too gay Paree. But it is a beautiful city filled with beautiful women, beautiful buildings, beautiful stores, everything beautiful, no Frenchmen, and a lot of G.I. soldiers. I wish you both could be here to enjoy it. I wish I could enjoy it, too, but I am too busy with my work. Some other day, maybe
This week, I am expecting to preview final artwork for the cover of Marcel’s Letters. I generally know what to expect; the final cover artwork will reflect a revised tagline and a few other small artwork and composition revisions.READ MORE
Typically I’m interested in handwritten letters, but this typed letter portrayed such a touching moment I had to buy it. The brothers’ reunion actually made me a little teary-eyed. I hope you enjoy reading it!READ MORE
Dec 24th (1943)
You must be in bed by this time. It’s 8 o’clock here (12:30 A.M.) in Laurel [Mississippi]. I’ve been thinking of you constantly today. Today, of all days, we should be together and yet we’ve lots to do before we can start our life together again.READ MORE