My Books

I originally started this blog three years ago to promote my then-newest novel, Last of the Annamese. Over time, I wrote blog posts about all my books, including two published this year, Secretocracy and Coming to Terms.

As readers have noted, Vietnam has shaped my life—and therefore my books. Between 1962 and 1975, I spent more time there than I did in the U.S. I spoke Vietnamese, Chinese, and French, the three languages of Vietnam, and my job was to exploit intercepted North Vietnamese radio communications in support of U.S. forces, both army and Marine, in combat. After the withdrawal of U.S. forces in 1973, I stayed on as the head of the covert National Security Agency (NSA) operation in Vietnam. At the end, on 29 April 1975, I escaped under fire after the North Vietnamese were already in the streets of Saigon.

As a result, all of my novels, with the sole exception of Secretocracy, are in one way or another derived from my Vietnam experience. And the rest of my life reeks with Vietnam influences. My house is filled with Vietnamese art, knick-knacks, and memorabilia. All four of my children have memories of living in Vietnam and escaping from Saigon twenty days before the city fell to the North Vietnamese. I still occasionally dream in Vietnamese, a language I spoke constantly for thirteen years.

One of the two books I’m working on now will be about Vietnam. The story takes place during the battle of Dak To in 1967. There’s no escape from the past.

So the stories I tell in my books really do reflect the life I have lived. And if I weren’t such a fastidious writer (all my books went through at least ten drafts), there’d be more. All that said, I have no complaints. I was born to write, and I have fulfilled my destiny.

I’ve found that feedback from readers is the most valuable tool for a writer to improve. I invite all who read my work to give me their reaction. And if you want to know what I’ve written, go to

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: