Friday, August 15, 2008

"The Other Side of Glory"-- August 15th, 2008

A preliminary draft to the Dedication page for "The Other Side of Glory."

This story is dedicated to the men I served with in the US Marine Corps. Unless you knew me while I was serving abroad you may not understand the pains by which I came to write this story. I have struggled to bring it to life since the day my father and I drove away from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina in 1997. I began writing the novel in 2002 and after eighteen chapters and a very vague plot, character base and story-line I trashed it, like I do most my works and started over. The story suffered this fate again in early 2003 and by 2005 I had given up on it in lieu of writing the story of Justin Bower and Tessa Jameson—the story which became my debut novel—Proud Souls.

I must confess however this isn’t my story. Although I have been cited several times in saying all fiction stems from some form of truth within the author—my works are still not autobiographical. There is irony in that statement however and I must confess that I have prided myself in being a writer who will never tell the story of a road I have not traveled. I think some of our greatest novelists to this date have been those who were not afraid to forsake truth in lieu of discovering what lies just beyond the realm of right and proper. I do not brag when I say I have tasted the fruits of good and of evil. Looking back at my life many years later when I chose to ignore the inevitable question within my life: Why do I do the things I do when I know the outcome?, well, the best I can say today, either here on paper or at the bar with a cold beer is this: It is because of my experiences in this world—some good and some bad—that I am able to justify the realism within my characters. Yes, I can sit at my window and watch the world go by and with every ounce of my creativity, create a story that would seem very real. But to me, that would be cheating—unfair to you as the reader and to the characters that I bring to life on paper.

There are many people who waited patiently for me to write this story. They are my friends and each of them at separate times in my life and in their own private way, have begged me to write it. It isn’t their story either, anymore than it is mine; but each of them believes this story to be a part of their lives they wish to share and also put away as a private reminder of their former selves. I have been asked to be careful how I present the story and I have been asked to tell the truth, holding nothing back. I have been reminded of the pains that accompany home-sickness and the disappointment that accompanies coming up short on a dream. And I have been asked to forget those who tried to destroy me when I was younger. Some have said the things I shared in this fictional tale aren’t true at all and others laughed at my audacity.

I suppose the most important part of “The Other Side of Glory” I wish for my audience to take with them is to appreciate a good story. My hope is that people won’t look too deep into the whether or not I overextended my boundaries as a novelist but rather take the story for what it is: a fictional tale.

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