Friday, April 15, 2011

Comments Time

OK, your turn. You've read excerpts from three works in progress. I'm going to get serious (he threatened) about writing when school is out and taxes are done as soon as I finish sacrificing two virgins and a goat in thanks.

What should I work on? What do you like and why?


Tim Knutson said...


I really like them all.

The first one, because I like to read what you know about leadership, flying airplanes and the F-4. I think you;ll do a great job of developing the characters and the situations in this book.

The second one, because I grew up as a farm kid and still am. Did a stint of flying freight out of Terre Haute and hearing all about the Hullman family. Ran around the country roads down there having fun and trying to figure out why flying night freight out of Terre Haute OK. One answer---- GOOD PEOPLE to do it with. I would assume similar to war.

The third one will be a bit tougher IMHO. Less readers will have that old attraction to Civil War history, however lord knows we all could use a refresher to the events of those times as we all know history repeats itself.

I'd probably buy all three and rave about all of them. The first one I want to read is the one about Rat and the alert Phantoms though.

Thanks for sharing!!

Tim Knutson

juvat said...

In order,
The Mailman,
Strike Enable,
Life with Mother.

The mailman piqued my interest right away. I read a lot of history and historical fiction and I don't believe this particular timeframe and cultural angle has been studied. It reminds me of the stories the local folks tell about their ancestors in this part of Texas.

Strike Enable Hey, I'm a fighter pilot, why wouldn't I like it? That having been said, it seems to be very similar (without the fighter pilot aspects) to most Military thrillers (Clancy, Flynn, Thor). Not that that's bad, just a crowded market.

Life with Mother. Not much in the lead-in to show where you're going with the story. It seems it might be a "Travels with Charley" kind of theme and that's just not my cup of tea.

Kinda like one of your debriefs, no holds barred, just call 'em like I see 'em. As Tim said, I'll probably buy whichever you publish and enjoy it.

chris parker said...

Strile Enable - can't get enough of your flying stories!

Six said...

Strike Enable
The Mailman
Life With Mother

I'm probably just bit prejudiced toward the military side of fiction but I really enjoy character driven stories where the protagonist is someone I'd have liked to serve with.

I am fascinated about The War in The Mailman and have a lot of questions I'd like answered.

I'd love to read your biography and if you write it I will buy it.

In the end I'm a military guy at heart and a fiction book written by someone who has seen The Elephant is very appealing. The snippet you wrote grabbed my attention and makes me want more. I like Rat even after just a few words.


Linda Morgan said...

Your overview makes Stoolies sound very promising, but I like the excerpt of Strike Enable best of the three actual samples you provide. Far and away. It's authoritative. I believe you know what you're talking about. And as far as outlined plot is concerned, damn I want to know how Rat stops that Turk.

Strike Enable seems more sure-fire, but if you want a major challenge for yourself and your reader, Stoolies would seem to have a potential payoff commensurate with risk.

immagikman said...

If you send me one of the virgins Ill tell you :D

Anonymous said...

Your heart is more into the "Stoolies" project, it flows more readily from the pen.
"Strike Enable" is rather stilted, cookie cutter.
"Life with Mother" is promising, but somehow doesn't seem ready to be told. For me, it comes across fictional, third person.

I have not read your book, and so am not comparing these samples to it. Intrigued, now.


Boat Guy said...

In order;
The Mailman
Strike Enable
Life With Mother
As noted above, the Mailman really "flowed" and drew me right in. It also may have more relevance today than "mere" history.
I'd be pleased to read any/all of them in turn.

nzgarry said...

I go with juvat
Their are no doubt people living/dead in North Texas who could be moved backward/forward in time 150 years or so who would fit right back in so to speak.
The challenge would be to bring that all to life and for that reason I think it would be the most difficult to write but offers the most potential. Lonesome Dove comes to mind in this genre but I don't know if there is to much else like this around.

Life with Mother
I thought this extract was the best
written. I guess it's easier to write about real times and people.
I prefer non-fiction and so have put it second for that reason only.

Strike Enable
Yes, there is a lot of this stuff around but how much of it is written by people who have been there done that?.
If you've got a really good plot
under construction then I think your background would carry it along.
The Brit ex SAS soldier Andy McNab
wrote his military memoirs but has since published fiction in this genre and in my opinion you are a better writer than he is.

I seldom read fiction so when I do the characters have to be wholly convincing and that must be the hardest part about writing it.
I felt I got to know Babe better in a few short sentences than McCurley or Reynolds.

It's good to know that you have pen in hand again, all the best.

Former Student said...

I would buy any and all of the books. "Strike Enable" would be my first choice - Why? Because, like "Rat", I'm intimently familiar with the "Alert Facility" and all that goes with it.

Secondly, wold be "Life with Mother" because I, too, grew up on a midwestern farm and the way that you describe the "Aunt & Uncle's" home, location and food brings back fond memories.

Last, although I am a history buff, is the least appealing. I could be swayed as the story develops and the characters are fleshed out.

Yes, I would purchase and read them all.

John Venlet said...

Morning, Ed.

Of the three choices, my first pick would be "The Mailman," in large part due to the closing lines.

There was a secret society and it looked to him like McCurley would be a good candidate for membership. Was he interested?

It leaves a reader wondering just where exactly this story would go, and the also appears to have ramifications for events surrounding us today.

My second choice would be "Victor." It has an evident thriller genre feel, and also has ramifications in today's world.

Last, but not least, "Barefoot Boy." I place this last, not because I would not be interested in how events in your young life may have shaped you, because I would, but because I do not think most readers would have that interest.

Thanks for allowing us to critique and input.

Dweezil Dwarftosser said...

I'd choose 'Stoolies' fiction, first. Actually, I'm amazed that this almost-current genre - active rebellion against a US dictator - hasn't already been exploited by numerous authors. (It's literally pregnant with possibilities for a page-turner yarn - or many different ones.) Of course, the Texas republic's unique manner of becoming a state makes it prime for secession; that helps.

Next, I'd pick up 'Life with Mother'. I'm a sucker for real-life 'coming of age' tales - because no matter the circumstance, almost everyone can identify with the main character in some way.

I have little comment about 'Strike Enable' and Victor. After spending 16 hours straight Zulu-prepping every Hahn bird we had at the 'Lik (Jan 1979) - the load toads were met by armed Turks when they went to get the missiles from the MSA - so we know they can be difficult hosts.

I'd just hate to see the story turn to preposterous 'stealth' B-52s or something equally ridiculous.

wilko said...

Strike Enable, although all were well written. I think Ed's experiences would make it an entertaining read for a growing fan base.

Plus Raz has fighter / attack cred (based on his prior three novels) that will make it a lock for best seller lock when it's released.

Martin McPhillips said...


Like all three ideas. You'll know which one most compels you.

I think, however, that Strike Enable is the one that would most attract your audience, get you the most readers, and have the most potential for something to happen.

So, if they're all equally compelling to you, then I would go with Strike Enable for that reason.


LauraB said...

I believe that The Mailman is the one that needs to be written for us for the coming days, Life With Mother needs to be written for yourself, and Strike Enable is something that will sell well and pay the bills.

Which makes it difficult for me. I want very much to read what made you who you are. But there is time for that tale.

Give us Texas. Properly rendered and thoughtfully presented. Because I know you can do it justice, even it we might not agree on an ending. We need the story now.