Here are the true accounts of the lives of six extraordinary canines with whom my family and I were blessed to share our lives. These dogs were never considered to be pets, but full fledged contributors to our family’s life and growth. Their lives were celebrated daily by each of us in our own ways.
The first dog was enlisted to protect us from crime on Okinawa. He became a solid member of our family before serving as a scout dog for the Army in Vietnam.
Second was a Viet cur who adopted me and saved my life in combat on more than one occasion. The others were a half wild Malamute-wolf mix, A German shepherd, and two golden retrievers, gentle and kind where the others were more forceful. One still lives and serves the family.”
Since I started writing full time in 2007, I’ve written manuscripts for 7 books and I notice I have never said a single word about my love for sailing. My grampa always said, “a man only needs three things to be happy: a good woman, a good dog, and a good boat, pretty much in that order.”
I learned to sail on the Charles River in Boston when I was 11. We learned to sail and race 14 foot boats. Now I own a 36-foot Pearson pilot house. Got a dog and a good woman, too. Ask me if I feel lucky.
When I began writing my book it started as a memoir. Somewhere along the way it became a novel. The book changed direction reason when I got to the part where I encountered a tiger. I began to ponder why the tiger had not attacked me, but instead just stared at me for a long moment, then turned and disappeared into the dark.
More and more the tiger entered my thoughts and my story until he finally just took it over. I realized I had a story to tell about the tiger and I had more of a novel and less a memoir.
I had already written the part about my childhood and decided to leave it in Dillon’s War – The Weretiger of Kontum. But, when an author tells you to just begin on that blank page, it’s not always cut and dry where a novel will go. You can start writing a book with an outline, and somewhere along the way it all changes because you see a character in a new light, or you change your mind about the direction in which the book is headed.
This is one of the great things about being an author. Sometimes your story takes over and wants to tell itself. Please check out my novel and come along on the journey with me.
I always felt I had at least one novel in my soul, but never had the time nor did I know how my way around the publishing field. First the soldiering kept me busy and when I retired from active duty in 1985, I began a new career in medical sales-lots of travel and not much free time.
Then, in 2007 my wife had a massive heart attack that meant I would have to retire for good and stay home to care for her. We established a routine wherein she would nap daily from 1 til 3 in the afternoons, and I was left with nothing to do during those times.
Finally I decided to write a book about my family history, just for my children. I made several false starts until finally my wife suggested I write about our dogs. We had four dogs that were exceptional in their own ways. That’s how Istarted writing. Since then I’ve written about a book a year, published three and am about to publish my fourth, the second of a trilogy about the weretiger.
Everyone’s journey is different, but find someone you really like to write about and it will flow.