Here are the contents of this month’s newsletter:
- Update on Forgotten No Longer
- Today’s Christian Living “Ask Dr. Walt” column
- Last Month’s Events
- Upcoming Events
- Update on Forgotten No Longer: World War II Stories About a Dogface Soldier, His Horses, and the 30thInfantry Regiment
Many of you know the World War II book that I’ve been working on for over a decade has been turned down by every major publisher. My last rejection helped explain why. I thought you might find it interesting:
Thank you for the opportunity to review your proposal and manuscript for Not Forgotten. Our entire … team was impressed by your writing and the many fascinating elements of the story. We all agree that it (or some form of it) is a worthy project that deserves to be published.
One observation is that at times your fascination with the military detail may bit a bit over the top so that it distracts from the story, so it may be wise to further edit some of that out. Another observation is that you may be trying to accomplish too much in a single book.
As written, this belongs at a secular house that has expertise in historicals, especially military historicals. Don’t give up pitching it (or some form of it) until you’ve found that house!
A thought that may open some doors if you’ve already tried such companies and encountered closed doors: It could be that the sheer scope of the book is too broad. You are trying to appeal to quite a breadth of audiences in one book—military aficionados, WWII history buffs, biography readers, and horse lovers, to name just a few. You’ve set out to accomplish so much. Your attempts at a subtitle give evidence to this complexity.
However, I found that my entire … team, after reading the proposal, wanted to know the story of the Lipizzaner stallions—even those who aren’t interested in WWII histories in particular. What a unique story you’ve uncovered there!
What if you were to reshape your book entirely and reduce the story to that as your plot? That wouldn’t mean losing your other elements, but rather subjugating them to act as a rich backdrop to the Lipizzaner story. It could be that there isn’t enough material on the horses to do so—just a thought.
One might argue that in essence, your book is trying to accomplish so much that it misses its greatest opportunity to draw the biggest crowd by telling one compelling story. Might that be the story of the Lipizzaners through the lens of your father’s involvement? I don’t know. I haven’t read your manuscript in its entirety. You could test the potential of focusing on such a book by writing a proposal for that and seeing what kind of response you get (from secular houses). Just food for thought.
The team was very taken with your writing and that led to a lively discussion of what else you might write for us that would fit our mission. Bryson City Talescame up as it had been read and was remembered quite fondly by several on our team. (And you know it was a favorite project of mine!)
Those books would have been such an ideal fit for who (we are). Might you be interested in writing such a story of another “era” of your medical practice, complete with quirky characters, compelling subplots, and strong sense of place in a particular (even peculiar) setting? Or perhaps you have another book idea entirely. You are such a creative!
I’d love to set up a phone conference to explore some other possibilities of you writing for (us). Could we? And let’s be sure to include Barb on the call! She always brings rich insight to discussions.
Barb and I met with our agent, Greg Johnson to discuss this feedback, which is similar to that from other major publishers. We’ve agree to think in terms of splitting the book in two: One would emphasize my dad and his “war horses” stories, including finding the kidnapped Lipizzaner story. The second book would emphasize the war history of the southern front (from Anzio to the end of the war).
So, the bottom line is that we’re not giving up … and this editor has also opened up the publishing door with her company. It should be an interesting journey.
2) Today’s Christian Living “Ask Dr. Walt” column
I enjoy being able to answer questions from the readers of Today’s Christian Livingmagazine in my “Ask Dr. Walt” column. Here are the Q&A’s from the August/September 2018 issue. You can click on any you’re interested reading. I hope you’ll consider getting a subscription:
- Gummy Vitamins
- A friend told me he heard that “gummy vitamins” are not recommended. He said there are some sort of concerns about them. What would he be worried about? I kinda like the taste of them myself. — Gummy in Iowa
- Liquid Vitamins or Pills?
- Are liquid vitamins better than pills? The folks selling them seem to think so, but the liquids sure are a lot more expensive! — Which to Choose in Minnesota
- Vitamin D Oral Sprays
- Are vitamin D oral sprays more effective than vitamin D pills or drops? A friend who sells them says that they are. — Distressed in Washington
- Losing Sleep Over Melatonin
- What is the best way to take melatonin for sleep? — Sleepless in Alaska
- Knee Pain? CBD or Something Else?
- Is CBD salve helpful for knee pain? I had a total knee replacement in 2008 and it has always hurt, sometimes worse than the other. I want to make sure topical CBD is safe and pure. — nflamed in Indiana
3) Last Month’s Events
- Oct 2-6: Barb and I were in Chicago for an AMA RUC meeting. We enjoyed our time in downtown Chicago. Barb especially enjoyed her time on “The Magnificent Mile” on Michigan Avenue which was dressed in marvelous fall decorations! We used this trip to begin a three-month celebration of our 45thWedding Anniversary by sharing celebration meals at several nice Chicago restaurants. They were fabulous.
- Oct 13: The Marriage Ministry Barb and I direct at Academy Christian Churchhad a fun Mystery Date Nightfor married couples. It was great fun with 60 couples enjoying Bar-B-Que, a Square Dance, and some quality time together.
- Oct 20-27: Barb and I spent a week at Vero Beach, FL. Like our September beach trip, this one is also a writing trip and I was able to finish the final manuscript for, “Fit After 50—Make Simple Choices Today for a Happier, Healthier You.” But, of course, there were the requisite seafood dining times! Unfortunately, due to the Red Tide infestation of the waters, there was no beach, shell hunting, sunbathing, or beach walking time.
4) Upcoming Events
- Nov 8-10: Barb and I travel to Louisville and the Southeast Christian Churchwhere we will attend and I will be teaching on “Spiritual Interventions in Clinical Care—or How to Become an Everyday Missionary in Healthcare,” at the Global Missions Health Conference. Between 3000 and 4000 health professional students, residents, and graduate attend this amazing gathering. We’re always blessed to go.
- Nov 15-16: Barb and I will fly to Raleigh, NC, to speak at a Christian Medical and Dental Association Banquet on the topic of “How to Have a Crazy Good Marriage.” It will be a quick trip, but we look forward to assisting this local CMDA chapter.
- Nov 17-19: Barb and I will be at a secluded and very romantic location to celebrate our 45thWedding Anniversary. What a blessed man that I am!!! King Solomon opined, “The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the LORD” (Pr 18:22 NLT).
- Nov 29—Dec 4: Barb and I will attend a CRU event in New York City. We’ll plan to stay an extra day or two to continue to celebrate our 45thWedding Anniversary and to enjoy all of the pre-Christmas decorations and to see a show or two. We’re looking forward to this trip.
- Past Issues of our family newsletter
You can get more information on many of our upcoming events here.