Something like three years ago, I blogged about my books. And I’ve mentioned them in passing when discussing other subjects. I think it’s time I let my readers know a little about each book, including two that will be published next year.
My first published book was Friendly Casualties. It came out as an ebook on Amazon.com in 2012. It’s in a form I’ve never seen used by another author. The first half, called “Triage,” is a series of eight short stories in which characters from one story sometimes show up in another story. The second half, called “Healing,” is a novella that weaves together the tales told earlier and lets the reader know what the outcome was for many of the characters mentioned in the first half.
All the stories center on the Vietnam war and its effects on people involved in it. And all the stories are drawn from my own experience and people I knew during my thirteen years in and out of Vietnam. None of the stories has a happy ending, but at the end of the book a woman who is a diplomat in Vietnam (and lost the man she loved, an army officer) and a wounded solider (who has lost an arm) come together reluctantly and agree to try to comfort one another. The ending, despite the tragedies, is hopeful.
The title, Friendly Casualties, is a military term that refers to those hurt or killed by fire from their own lines, that is, casualties from friendly fire. The point of the title, and indeed of the book, was to stress that everyone involved in war is a casualty, even those who suffer no physical wounds. Every man and woman I knew in Vietnam was damaged. Two killed themselves after the war. We were all friendly casualties.