Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Virtual Book Tour: They Called Him Marvin by Roger Stark #blogtour #interview #historical #giveaway #rabtbooktours @RABTBookTours

 


Creative nonfiction History, Historical romance, WW2, Family Saga, Memoir Biography

Date Published: September 1, 2020

Publisher: Silver Star Publishing Llc


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Duty called.

He answered.

She, with child, was left behind.

He did not come home.

 

"They were the fathers we never knew, the uncles we never met, the friends who never returned, the heroes we can never repay." (B Clinton.) Such a man was 1st Lt Dean Harold Sherman, B-29 Airplane Commander one of the thousands of man-boys, not far from their mother’s apron strings, that learned to fly a B-29 thousands of miles and bomb an enemy.

“They Called Him Marvin” is a history of Dean Sherman and his teenage bride Connie’s love, World War 2 and their efforts to create a family. A history of the collision of the raging politics of a global war, young love, patriotism, sacred family commitments, duty and the horrors and tragedies, the catastrophe that war is.

A reviewer explains: "I am a fan of historical fiction and this story did not disappoint. It was sweet, tragic, personal, and moving. Gradually and almost imperceptibly, the story of two wartime sweethearts begins circling the drain of a tragedy you know is coming. The book begins with the ending, but by the time you get there you have convinced yourself that it can't possibly be the case. I enjoyed every moment, even the ones that left me in tears.

The letters between Connie and Dean provided a fascinating glimpse into wartime life. Reading the experiences of people both at home and abroad was very engaging. I found myself eagerly awaiting the next letter, right along with the young couple!

Lastly, the book left me with an overwhelming acknowledgment of the universal trauma and tragedy of war. The Sherman’s are not the only family we meet in the book and the weaving together of several different narratives added a depth to the story that's hard to put into words. I definitely encourage anyone to read this book, especially if historical novels are not something you typically read. This is a story about people and you won't want it to end."

 



Interview



Can you tell us a little about the process of getting this book published? How did you come up with the idea and how did you start?


I am, by my own admission, a reluctant writer. But there are stories that demand to to be told. When we hear them, we must pick up our pen, lest we forget and the stories be lost. Eight years ago, in a quiet conversation with my friend Marvin, I learned the tragic story his father, a WW2 B-29 Airplane Commander, shot down over Nagoya, Japan just months before the end of the war.

     The telling of the story that evening by this half orphan was so moving and full of emotion, it compelled me to ask if I could write the story. The result being “They Called Him Marvin.”

     I started by transcribing all 67 letters that Dean and Connie wrote. And then began the research. Research in Japan and here at home, A week visiting the National Archives. So many folks were helpful in that process, far too many to list, but the writing would have been impossible with out them.



What surprised you most about getting your book published?


     I am a self publisher, through my family publishing company, Silver Star Publishing. That makes it a lot easier to get accepted for publication! Lol We approached the process in professional manner. We engaged editors, cover designers and a printer that specializes in this type of project. The world of publishing is obviously undergoing a change, a seismic shift, really. The assets can now be found to self publish a very high quality product. Of course I made mistakes, but this is our third self published work and we are getting better at it!


Tell us a little about what you do when you aren’t writing.


I am a retired Addiction Counselor so I dabble in Recovery work a bit. I am currently recuperating from my second hip replacement surgery in six months, so much of my time now is taken up in rehab and keeping up with book marketing. I am serious about recuperating because my wife of nearly 50 years and I love to travel. We are hoping that Covid will allow us to resume our adventures. I pretend I am a gardener. Our landscaping is pretty high maintenance, beautiful but high maintenance. It has been killing me that I have not been able to do much of anything in the yard for nearly a year. My favorite pass time though, is being Grandpa to 11 pretty cool grandkids.



The most pivotal point in my writing career.


When I was a senior in high school my English teacher Miss Johnson assigned us a 1500 wood essay on a subject of our choice. 1500 words sounded impossible to me in the beginning. But I finally decided for some unknown reason to write about bubbles. I was stunned that the essay won first place and she read it to all of her classes. The thought travelled through my still developing brain, “Huh, maybe I could write stuff.” Altho I have never worked as a full time writer, I have used the skill, and worked on getting better at it though out my life.



Where do you get your best ideas and why do you think that is.


I trust the universe a lot more than myself. It seems inspirations appear when they are needed. “They Called Him Marvin” began as an after dinner conversation, while hearing it, I felt very moved and felt the need to chronicle the story so it would not be lost. I wasn’t looking for my next “big

project” but it appeared in my life in spite of me.

What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author?


I am not very good at accepting criticism of my writing. I am sure it is a fault. The reviews that sting me the most are the ones that say “He should have done it this way or that way.” Like I say it is a failing in me. But when you create something, re-write it dozens of times, rip up your work and start over, feel moments of powerful inspiration, you or at least, I, begin to believe things are as they should be. My inner child wants to tell them, “If you don’t like it why don’t you write it!  (Sorry for the rant.)


What has been your best accomplishment as a writer?


I think it is a tie. My Book the “Waterfall Concept” is about addiction recovery and a number of folks have thanked me for the help it was in their recovery. The second is “Marvin.” It has put me in touch with many people trying to remember WW2 and honor the soldiers and civilians that gave their all in the conflict. Their stories have greatly enriched my life.


How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?


I have a couple that have rolling around in my head for a while, but I am pretty sure they will never get out. My wife is convinced I should write a family saga about my great, great, great Scottish grandfather born to a rich father but borne by a housemaid left with no inheritance he made his way to America where a son sided with Britain during the Revolution and was expelled after the war. His sons took their families to North Carolina and one lost his life fighting for the south in the civil war. She tells me my family is always on the wrong side of things. She ends every argument with that statement.


I am in the middle of writing my memoir about growing up in SW Washington titled, “Life on a Sorta Farm.”



About the Author

I am, by my own admission, a reluctant writer. But there are stories that demand to to be told. When we hear them, we must pick up our pen, lest we forget and the stories be lost.

Six years ago, in a quiet conversation with my friend Marvin, I learned the tragic story his father, a WW2 B-29 Airplane Commander, shot down over Nagoya, Japan just months before the end of the war.  A father he never knew. The telling of the story that evening by this half orphan was so moving and full of emotion, it compelled me to ask if I could write the story. The result being “They Called Him Marvin.”

My life has been profoundly touched in so many ways by being part of documenting this sacred story. I pray that we never forget, as a people, the depth of sacrifice that was made by ordinary people like Marvin and his father and mother on our behalf.

My career as an addiction counselor (CDP) lead me to write “The Waterfall Concept; A Blueprint for Addiction Recovery," and co-author "Reclaiming Your Addicted Brain."

After my counseling retirement, I decided I wanted to learn more about the craft of writing and started attending classes at Portland Oregon’s Attic Institute. What I learned is that there are an mazing number of great writers in my area and they were willing to help others improve their skills. I am grateful to many of them.

My next project is already underway, a memoir of growing in SW Washington called “Life on a Sorta Farm.” My wife of 49 years, Susan and I still live in that area.

We raised seven children, and have eleven grandchildren. We love to travel and see the sites and cultures of the world. I still get on my bicycle whenever I can.


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