Name: Jonathan Raab
Book Title: Flight of the Blue Falcon
Genre: Military Fiction / Literature
Publisher: The War Writers’ Campaign
Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published. Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?
Author: I always knew I would write a book about my time in the military. I wanted to tell the story of the common soldier serving in the Long War—warts and all.
Is this your first book?
Author: Yes, this is my first novel. My second, The Hillbilly Moonshine Massacre, comes out in October (2015) from Literati Press.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
Author: I submitted it to the War Writers’ Campaign. They’re a nonprofit publisher that treats their writers well and supports the veteran community. It was a no-brainer.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey? The pros and cons?
Author: I already had a relationship with the publisher, so that made the transition to publishing a novel a little easier. I did editing work for them and had published a couple of small pieces with them. There were no cons. They’re a great outfit, and I’m proud to support them.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
Author: Writers have a lot of tools available to them that simply weren’t there ten years ago. My best advice is to build up your publishing credits – short stories, nonfiction, essays – whatever you can get out there, before you jump into publishing a big book. I wouldn’t have this novel coming out if I didn’t do a lot of volunteer editing work and set my sights lower (short stories, short nonfiction pieces) to build up some credits first.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Author: Small presses like the War Writers’ Campaign offer a lot of flexibility and accessibility to writers starting out. The big publishing companies can get you a great deal, sure—but they can also help you get lost in the shuffle. I love small presses because they are specialized, accessible, and passionate about what they publish.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Author: Fail, time and again, and get back in that chair. I wrote a bunch of books, short stories, and articles that never got published. And that was the best thing for me as a writer. Never give up. Keep writing, every week, keep submitting, keep refining your craft. Embrace your failures and drive on!
Title: Flight of the Blue Falcon
Genre: Fiction – Adult
Author: Jonathan Raab
Publisher: War Writers' Campaign, Inc.
Watch the Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5KDHavXwXo
Purchase on Amazon
About the Book:
FLIGHT OF THE BLUE FALCON
“Jonathan Raab is not only a genuine advocate for veteran causes, he is a preacher of their tales; both fiction and nonfiction. His writing will immerse you into a combat environment that parallels the imagination of those who have never had the pleasure.”
—Derek J. Porter, author of Conquering Mental Fatigues: PTSD & Hypervigilance Disorder
“Jonathan Raab uses his experience to illustrate the raw world of the common soldier. His masterful use of edgy humor and intellectual commentary creates a space for discussing the military culture.”
—Nate Brookshire, co-author, Hidden Wounds: A Soldiers Burden
In FLIGHT OF THE BLUE FALCON (War Writers’ Campaign; July 2015; PRICE), a chewed-up Army National Guard unit heads to a forgotten war in Afghanistan where three men find themselves thrust into the heart of absurdity: the post-modern American war machine. The inexperienced Private Rench, the jaded veteran Staff Sergeant Halderman, and the idealistic Lieutenant Gracie join a platoon of misfit citizen-soldiers and experience a series of alienating and bizarre events.
Private Rench is young, inexperienced, and from a poor, rural, broken home. He's adrift in life. The early signs of alcoholism and potential substance abuse are beginning to rear their ugly heads. He wants to do right by the Army, but doesn't quite know who he is yet.
Staff Sergeant Halderman has one previous combat tour under his belt. He got out, realized his life was going nowhere, so re-enlisted to serve with the men he knew, and to lead the inexperienced guys into combat. He is manifesting the early signs of post traumatic stress, but is too focused on the upcoming mission to deal with it. He sees the Army for what it is—a big, screwed up machine that doesn't always do the right thing—but he doesn't think all that highly of himself, either.
Second Lieutenant Gracie is fresh, young, excited to be in the Army, and trying to adjust to the new to the military and his life as an officer. Although he faces a steep learning curve, he is adaptable and has a good, upbeat attitude. As he tries to forge his own path, he nonetheless turns to the experienced NCOs in his unit for guidance and support. He must continually make tough decisions that have no "right" or textbook answers. Yet these decisions are catalysts enabling him to grow in maturity, experience, and wisdom.
Preparation for combat is surreal: Rench is force-fed cookies by his drill sergeants. Halderman’s “training” is to pick up garbage in the blistering heat of the California desert for four days straight. Gracie contends with a battalion commander obsessed with latrine graffiti.
Once they reach Afghanistan, things really get weird.
FLIGHT OF THE BLUE FALCON is the story of three men who volunteer to serve their country. It’s about what it means to be a soldier, to fight, to know true camaraderie—and to return home.
This is a war story. This is their story.
Only the most unbelievable parts are true.