Jeffrey Miller

A Writer's Life

Category: War Remains (page 2 of 17)

War Remains Cracks Amazon’s UK Top 20 Charts

Number 15 UK -- May 28 2013

Now I know how The Beatles felt when they cracked the US charts in the early 60s!

War Remains UK

War Remains US

War Remains Cracks Amazon’s Top Ten

Number 6 -- May 22 2013And I am in some great company.

I know it’s only for a while (by now the book has probably slipped out of the Top Ten) but it was a good feeling while it lasted. I hope this exposure at the top of the charts will make more people interested in downloading a copy and that’s why it is still available for only .99 cents. Just doing what I can to create a little “buzz” for this book.

War Remains, a Korean War Novel

Upcoming Book Events: 10 Magazine Book Club

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On Sunday, April 28th, I will be the special guest author at 10 Magazine’s monthly book club meeting. I’ve been looking forward to this event for some time and the chance to talk about my books, especially War Remains and Ice Cream Headache. Kudos to Barry Welsh, the organizer of this event, who personally invited me to participate in this event.

I am following in the steps of greatness, a who’s who of Korean Arts, History, and Literature including, Michael Breen, Daniel Tudor, Charles Montgomery, Andrew Salmon, and Robert Neff. I invite you to check out what they have written and done.

Welcome Home, Lt. Col. Don Faith

Don Faith

Of all the men listed as missing in action from the Chosin Reservoir in November-December 1950, perhaps none are more famous than Lt. Col. Don Faith who commanded the ill-fated Task Force Faith. His remains were positively identified last October and next week, April 17, he will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

In late 1950, Faith’s 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, which was attached to the 31st Regimental Combat Team, was advancing along the eastern side of the Chosin Reservoir, in North Korea. From Nov. 27 to Dec. 1, 1950, the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces encircled and attempted to overrun the U.S. position. During this series of attacks, Faith’s commander went missing, and Faith assumed command of the 31st RCT. As the battle continued, the 31st RCT, which came to be known as “Task Force Faith,” was forced to withdraw south along Route 5 to a more defensible position. During the withdrawal, Faith continuously rallied his troops, and personally led an assault on a CPVF position.

Records compiled after the battle of the Chosin Reservoir, to include eyewitness reports from survivors of the battle, indicated that Faith was seriously injured by shrapnel on Dec. 1, 1950, and subsequently died from those injuries on Dec. 2, 1950. His body was not recovered by U.S. forces at that time. Faith was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor­­ – the United States’ highest military honor – for personal acts of exceptional valor during the battle.

 In 2004, a joint U.S. and Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea team surveyed the area where Faith was last seen. His remains were located and returned to the U.S. for identificationTo identify Faith’s remains, scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used circumstantial evidence, compiled by DPMO and JPAC researchers, and forensic identification tools, such as dental comparison. They also used mitochondrial DNA – which matched Faith’s brother

Today, more than 7,900 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Korean War. Using modern technology, identifications continue to be made from remains that were previously turned over by North Korean officials or recovered from North Korea by American teams.

Until They are Home.

Now On Sale at Peru’s HyVee

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I like what HyVee does: allowing local authors to sell one’s bo0ks at their stores. And now, people can buy Ice Cream Headache and War Remains, A Korean War Novel at the HyVee store in Peru, Illinois.

A few of my friends back in the Illinois Valley, including my best friend, Chris Vasquez, told me I should do this and that’s exactly what I have done. I sent a box of books to another friend, Billie Cassin, and she is going to be my go-between with HyVee. From this week, my books will be available at the Peru store.

Pretty cool, huh? It’s great that people, will browsing the books at HyVee will come across mine and perhaps buy it. Thanks to Anna Takahashi’s great cover design, Kris Wilke’s photograph and the blurb from the Boston Literary Magazine, people will most certainly notice it.

I might not be able to go home, but my books can.

Today HyVee. Tomorrow the world.

Welcome Home, Corporal James Rexford Hare

2013_02_20_HarePOW-thumb-300xauto-29484It could be a page right out of the Korean War novel, War Remains.

Another soldier, Corporal James Rexford Hare, has come home from a forgotten war. And this time, it’s a soldier who was captured during the battle at Hoengseong.

Hare was in the 15th Field Artillery Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, which was part of the American forces supporting Republic of South Korea forces near the South Korean town of Hoengsong, when Chinese forces launched a massive counter attack, according to a news release from the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office in Washington.

According to the release, “During the attacks, U.S. and Korean forces were forced to retreat south. Over the next few days units of the 2nd ID were attacked again, suffering more than 200 casualties, including more than 100 servicemen being captured by enemy forces.”

Read the rest of the story here.

Thanks to advances in DNA testing, more and more remains are being identified and quicker than in the past. Although there are still more than 7,900 missing Americans from the Korean War, with each set of remains identified and another service member coming home brings hope to those families waiting for their loved one to come home.

Until They Are Home

War Remains (Ebook)

War Remains (Paperback)

 

 

A Little Rebellion Now and Then is a Good Thing

iceCreamHeadache Smash 5Even when it comes to self-publishing.

There’s a really good article on the Huffington Post which you can read here. Essentially it’s about the self-publishing industry and the stigma attached to those of us who have self-published and are trying to get the word out about our books.

I’ve heard it all. When I told some of my friends and colleagues that I was going to self-publish my first novel, War Remains, their first reaction was that the only people who would buy it would be my family and friends. One former colleague, a writer himself, said that no one will ever take me seriously as a writer. That was three years ago and as far as I know, he still hasn’t written the book he said he was going to write. I’ve written five in that time.

And yes, some bookstores will show you the door if you walk in with a load of your books and ask to have them sold or even set up a book signing. However, thanks to Ingram and word-of-mouth, a bookstore would be crazy not to carry a book that people want to buy. (Something I need to work on for my books. I have had a number of people who have asked me if Ice Cream Headache is available at a bookstore in Seoul.)

Self-publishing is easy. It’s having to deal with promoting your book and having people talk about it what takes the most time and work. However, in order to help chip away at that stigma, you need a little help along the way. I know that with each sale of one of my books that stigma is slowly being removed. Just this past weekend, War Remains was up to Number #8 on Amazon’s Kindle list. It might have only been for a few hours, but you know that has to count for something. That’s why I work so hard to trying to promote and market my books. A sale here and a sale there and people start to take notice.

And if it’s a good book and the author tells a good story it doesn’t make any difference if it was self-published or not. That’s the bottom line.

Ice Cream Headache: My Journey Back to 1968

icecreamCover2I’m a student and a teacher of history and when it comes to writing both become quite evident in what I write.

My first novel, War Remains, A Korean War Novel took me back to the opening months of the Korean War, the breakout from the Pusan Perimeter, Kunu-ri, and the battle at Hoengseong. My interest in the Korean War was in part due to my coverage of Korean War commemorative events in Korea between 2000-2003 for the Korea Times, which also included meeting many veterans.

Although Waking Up in the Land of the Morning Calm is about my twenty-plus years living and working in Korea, the book is also a personal history of Korea and the changes which have occurred on the peninsula since I came to Korea in 1990. Besides the essays and articles about the Korean War, there is a special section about Panmunjom, including the article I wrote in 2001 about the 25th anniversary of the Panmunjom Ax Murder Incident.

There’s also a lot of history evident in Invaders from Mars and Other Tales of Youthful Angst. Though most of the essays are about growing up in Oglesby, Illinois, a town of 4,200 back in the 1960s and 1970s, there are a number of historical references, including, but not limited to, the Vietnam War, the Apollo space program, and 1960s television. Many of the essays in this collection started out as blog posts which I later revised and expanded. I tell people that if you like Bill Bryson or Dave Barry, you’ll like this collection.

And that brings me to Ice Cream Headache when I travel back in time again, this time back to 1968. I’ve always been fascinated with this year. A lot has to do with my own sort of prepubescent coming of age when I first really became aware of the world around me. Although Johnny Fitzpatrick is the only one directly affected by the historical backdrop, everyone has their own stake in the historical backdrop of the novella.

In many ways the history that ended up in Ice Cream Headache is also me waxing nostalgic about the Illinois Valley. (For those of you not familiar with the Illinois Valley, it is a geographical area approximately 90 miles southwest of Chicago with three main towns located along the Illinois River: LaSalle, Peru, and Oglesby; to the east there’s Utica and Ottawa and to the west Spring Valley.) It’s been over six years since I last was home; the history I remember and write about is also my way of maintaining an umbilical cord to “home.”

Reading Ice Cream Headache, Invaders from Mars and Other Tales of Youthful Angst, and War Remains, is reading me: who I am and where I’ve come from.

Come along for the ride.

Why you should read this book

detail of a statue at the Korean War Veteran's Memorial in Washington, D.C.There are still over 7,900 Americans listed as missing in action from the Korean War.

This is the story of one of those Americans.

Is that a good enough reason for you?

 

War Remains, A Korean War Novel (eBook)

Upcoming Book Events for Ice Cream Headache

icecreamCover2Although an actual date has not been decided, in April or May, I will be one of the guest authors talking about Ice Cream Headache or Waking Up in the Land of the Morning Calm at the 10 Magazine Book Club in Seoul. This book club meeting has already featured or will feature such authors as Michael Breen, Daniel Tudor, and Andrew Salmon. That’s some great company to join.

I will also be featured on Arirang radio sometime soon talking about War Remains.

On February 19, Ice Cream Headache will be the featured blog post on Authors Promoting Authors.

I am reading Daniel Tudor’s book, Korea: The Impossible Country right now and I am loving it. His book should be standard issue for anyone who’s going to be in Korea for any length of time. I know I am learning some new things here as well as finally having someone explain han and jeong in accessible terms.

I would love to have the chance to talk about Waking Up in the Land of the Morning Calm and share my insights on what it’s been like for me all these years living and working in Korea. Unlike most expats who have written books about their experiences in Korea, I was fortunate that I was a writer for the Korea Times at the time and witness to a lot of history going down here. When Tudor talks about Chun Do-hwan or Roh Tae-woo, how many expats can say that they lived next door to ex-presidents of Korea?

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