I have been writing since I was six years old. I now have six novels and seventeen stories in print.
My first published book, Friendly Casualties, was a novel in short stories derived from experiences in the thirteen years I trundled between the U.S. and Vietnam to provide signals intelligence support to U.S. Army and Marine combat units fighting in South Vietnam. The first half of the book is a series of short stories in which characters from one story reappear in another. The second half is a novella that draws together all the preceding tales. Originally published as an ebook, Adelaide will be publishing a hard copy version in June 2022.
No-Accounts came from my years of caring for AIDS patients. It tells the story of a straight man caring for a gay man dying of AIDS. I got into helping men with AIDS to help me cope with the horrors of Post-Traumatic Stress Injury. When I was with my patients, men suffering more than I was, my unbearable memories went dormant.
Next came The Trion Syndrome. It begins with the Greek Trion legend about a demigod so brutal to the vanquished that the gods sent the Eucharides, three female monsters, to drown him. The protagonist, Dave Bell, is haunted by half-remembered visions of the war in Vietnam. At his lowest point, he recalls that he killed a child. Dave considers suicide, but a young man appears and helps him. It is his illegitimate son, a child he had tried to kill through abortion, who now helps him find his way home.
Last of the Annamese was published in March 2017. I used this novel to confront my memories of the fall of Saigon from which I escaped under fire. Once again, the image of the boy-child recurs, as the protagonist, Chuck Griffin, a retired Marine, grieves over the loss of his son, killed in combat in Vietnam. He returns to Vietnam as a civilian intelligence analyst after the withdrawal of U.S. troops and encounters Vietnamese boys whom he tries to save during the conflagration.
Secretocracy, published in March 2020, tells the story of an federal intelligence budgeteer persecuted by the Trump administration because he refuses to approve finds for an illegal operation. Coming to Terms, out in August 2020, is a new collection of short stories about people trying to work through the downturns in their lives.
9 thoughts on “My Books”
Friendly Causalities is great!
But No-Accounts sounds interesting too.
Today everybody talks about AIDS or being homosexual.
There was a time when people abhorred to think about it!
(especially in the military, DADT)
Tom…I find it remarkable that you are leaving a record. I buried two uncles in Arlington, Ray Curley and Bill Curley, and although they both served for years in Vietnam, neither spoke of it…ever…or left a record. So, good for you. Future generations will be able to dig out your take on it and consider what happened there.
Thanks, Bruce. It’s urgently important to me for people to know what happened in Vietnam. Nearly all my writing, all my presentations, and most of my blog is about my years in Nam. High on my list of priorities is to show that when intelligence is ignored, people die. It happened over and over during the thirteen years I was there on and off doing signals intelligence. The worst was the fall of Saigon when the ambassador didn’t believe that the city was about to be attacked. I escaped under fire, but so many others—the Vietnamese who worked with us—died.
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Dear Sir, I followed a CNN post on the My Lai events, by reading the associated Wikipedia page on the subject. A fragment on the letter that you wrote in 1968 to General Creighton Abrams caught my attention as a gem of deep understanding, conciseness and humanity. I wondered how a very young person could have such a great approach to life and I search for our name. So here I am on your blog, just to salute you. Humanity needs more people as you. Chapeau!
My thanks to you. Please feel free to comment. I always respond.