I hope this finds you all healthy and happy in the New Year. Things for me are going rather swimmingly, albeit much slower and slightly duller than my Army days. The big news, of course, is the publication of Kaboom: Embracing the Suck in a Savage Little War, by Da Capo Press, on April 1. (While I appreciate a good gag on April Fool's Day, if this is one, I'm not in on it, I assure all of you). It bears a passing resemblance to the material on this blog, but the majority of its content is new and has been vetted by an honest to Allah editing process. Amazing what another set of eyes can do, isn't it? Further, it spans my unit's entire fifteen months in Iraq, as opposed to the six or so that are chronicled here.
Anyhow, I want this to be an informative update, not just a shameless plug, especially in the midst of this economy - nonetheless, I must mention that Kaboom: Embracing the Suck in a Savage Little War is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and Borders.com. Its own website will be up shortly, and I'll pass along that URL when the website is completed. I think the book is pretty good - pretty damn good, actually - and the good people at Da Capo are a big reason why. If you get a chance to read it - and I mean read it, not just buy it, because the former is far more important - I hope and believe you'll agree. My aim was to make it unlike any other modern war memoir out there, in terms of voice, literary style, and bringing my soldiers to life out of the banal silhouettes they are all too often described as. Only time and your feedback can determine is such an ambition was achieved.
On the personal front, I've settled into big city life in New York. The adjustments to the crowds and to the winter has been interesting, but the subway offers endless entertainment, and being able to see City Girl regularly is definitely worthy of hyperbole. I'm in the throes of grad school applications, and will likely be in school next fall channeling my Iraq experience into Islamic Studies or Middle Eastern History of some sort.
I continue to stay in contact with the Gravediggers and the Gunslingers (the unit I spent my time with in Iraq post-blog brouhaha). As occurs with most military units after a deployment, we are strewn across the globe at this point, with many preparing for yet another tour of duty in Iraq or Afghanistan. The stoic resoluteness of our soldiers continues to astound me, and I am keenly aware that my time in the service will always be with me, no matter where I may drift away to in this life.
I'll be updating this blog, fairly regularly, as the publication date for Kaboom nears. Many of my family, friends, and e-acquaintances have asked about the process, so I'll do my best to describe it as I go through it. It's definitely exciting, but don't expect a rock n roll diary - from what I've gathered thus far, the book world is slightly more boring than that.
Oh, and feel free to bask in the awesomeness of the cover!