My Inspiration

A reader recently asked me what inspires me to write. The answer is that I knew by the time I was six years old that I was born to write. To refuse my calling would have been tantamount to facing damnation. I tried various other vocations, but invariably I was called back to writing. Because foreign languages come easily to me and because writing doesn’t pay, I became a spy to support my family—spying pays very well. As a result, I had a life rich in experiences.

Hence the inspiration on what subjects to write about. Between 1962 and 1975, I spent more time in Vietnam than I did in the U.S. I was a civilian under cover as military supporting troops in combat with signals intelligence. When Saigon fell in 1975, I escaped under fire after the North Vietnamese were already in the streets. Because I speak seven languages, I went on doing that kind of work all over the world. Meanwhile, to help me cope with a severe case of Post-Traumatic Stress Injury (PTSI) resulting from my time in combat, I volunteered to care for AIDS patients for five years—seven men, all gay, all died. Then I worked with the homeless for a couple of years and finally spent nine years volunteering to care for the dying in a hospice. So I have plenty to write about.

Consequently, my six books now in print (you can learn more about them at are about combat, AIDS, and PTSI, among other things. They are the result of a very full life.

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