Imagine being one of a 7-man team in the middle of a jungle where any person you might encounter will try to kill you. This is enemy territory, inhabited by an unknown number of enemy combatants. You might encounter 1 or 2 of the Viet Cong or North Vietnamese Army or just as easily 50 or more. In addition, there is the danger of man-eating tigers and poisonous snakes!
Your mission is to find the enemy without them finding you. You are to report their position so that artillery batteries, bombers or helicopter gunships can destroy them without risking the lives of infantrymen in a hazardous jungle assault. You must keep quiet lest you be detected. The brush is so thick it’s hard not snap twigs or crunch brush. You find a trail; but you can’t walk on it because it may be booby-trapped with land mines. What sort of men would willingly undertake such a mission?
Swift, Silent & Deadly tells the story of Recon Marine heroes in Vietnam. Many of the men covered in the book are no longer with us. Some were casualties of war. Others just haven’t survived the years that have passed since the end of the war. There are still plenty around to tell their story, however, and some of those are included in this book
Targeted Age Group:: Young Adults and Middle Grade readers
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
In a January 2005 article in the Washington Post, researchers Mark Bauerlein and Sandra Stotsky cite studies that indicate a widening gender gap in young adult reading. Boys are lagging behind girls. The following excerpt from the article suggests a probable cause:
“Although one might expect the schools to be trying hard to make reading appealing to boys, the K-12 literature curriculum may in fact be contributing to the problem. It has long been known that there are strong differences between boys and girls in their literary preferences. According to reading interest surveys, both boys and girls are unlikely to choose books based on an “issues” approach, and children are not interested in reading about ways to reform society — or themselves. But boys prefer adventure tales, war, sports and historical nonfiction, while girls prefer stories about personal relationships and fantasy. Moreover, when given choices, boys do not choose stories that feature girls, while girls frequently select stories that appeal to boys.
Unfortunately, the textbooks and literature assigned in the elementary grades do not reflect the dispositions of male students. Few strong and active male role models can be found as lead characters. Gone are the inspiring biographies of the most important American presidents, inventors, scientists and entrepreneurs. No military valor, no high adventure. On the other hand, stories about adventurous and brave women abound. Publishers seem to be more interested in avoiding “masculine” perspectives or “stereotypes” than in getting boys to like what they are assigned to read.
At the middle school level, the kind of quality literature that might appeal to boys has been replaced by Young Adult Literature, that is, easy-to-read, short novels about teenagers and problems such as drug addiction, teenage pregnancy, alcoholism, domestic violence, divorced parents and bullying. Older literary fare has also been replaced by something called “culturally relevant” literature — texts that appeal to students’ ethnic group identification on the assumption that sharing the leading character’s ethnicity will motivate them to read.”
Based on this assessment, Swift, Silent and Deadly should be quite attractive to the young adult male.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I served with the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division from October 1969 to December 1970 in Vietnam. Some of the men in my book served with the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion. I got information on other characters from extensive research, including some telephone interviews. I researched all of the characters.
About the Author:
I was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska. At the age of 18, I was eligible to be drafted as the Vietnam War was at its peak. I chose instead to enlist in the U.S. Marines. I spent 14 and 1/2 months in Vietnam with the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division. My period of service was from October 3, 1969 to December 13, 1970.
In 1971 I enrolled at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and received a degree in Civil Engineering in May 1976. I worked for the Federal Government as an engineer from June 1976 until January 2008.
I became interested in writing about 1987 and took a correspondence course in writing for children and teenagers. In 2001 I self-published my first book, The Secret of Sangre de Cristo. I wrote this book for the young adult audience. The setting is modern. I thought this book would be popular because it is male-focused in world of female-focused teenage novels. It was originally published in paperback form by a company specializing in “on demand” publishing. I learned from a review by a middle school librarian that the book contained many errors. In 2013 I revised the text to correct the errors and designed a new cover for the book. It is available as an ebook with Amazon.com.
In 2001 I also completed Brendan of Kilrush: This is a historical fiction book targeted at the middle school to high school audience. I self published it in paperback form in 2001. I sold very few copies. Again, I learned from a review by a middle school librarian that the book contained many errors. I never liked the original cover anyway; but couldn’t afford to have it redone. I proof read the book again and corrected the errors. Then I created my own cover. The result is the ebook version now available.
I didn’t have any success with the first two books so I enrolled in another correspondence course which emphasized writing books for children and teenagers. My teacher suggested I write a non-fiction book. The result was Swift, Silent and Deadly: Recon Marines in Vietnam. This is a non-fiction book targeted at the middle school to high school audience. I completed the manuscript in 2004 and have been trying to get it published through a conventional publisher ever since. When I learned that ebooks were becoming popular, I self published it through Amazon.com. Since it was published in May 2011, over a 1000 copies have been sold with no marketing strategy except it being listed on Amazon.com and with other ebook providers through a contract with Bookbaby.
I have experimented with two other genres. The first was a historical romance, Rebecca and the Renegade. I started this book in 2001. I got about halfway through the story and lost interest. In 2011, I decided to finish it. It is only available as an ebook. I self published it at Amazon.com that year. The other book is The Mystery of Skunk Hollow: This book is targeted at the adult audience. I’m not sure how to classify it. There is a mystery the main characters are trying to solve; but the reader is aware of who the criminals are throughout the story. It also has a strong focus on the hero’s relationships with women, so it could be considered a romance. It is only available as an ebook at Amazon.com.
I recently published an ebook about my experiences during my 2 years of active duty with the Marine Corps. It is entitled From OMAHA to DA NANG: Reflections of a 2-Yr Marine. It is only available through Amazon.com.
Links to Purchase eBooks
Link To Buy Swift, Silent and Deadly: Recon Marines in Vietnam On Amazon
Link to Swift, Silent and Deadly: Recon Marines in Vietnam on Barnes and Noble
Link to Swift, Silent and Deadly: Recon Marines in Vietnam for sale on iBooks
Link to Swift, Silent and Deadly: Recon Marines in Vietnam eBook for sale via other sites
Have you read this book or another by this author? If you have, please scroll past the book sample and tell us about it in the comments!