Today, I’d liked to introduce another person that I’ve met through my various Internet connections. I think you’ll soon see he is a true renaissance man and lover of life. Let me allow him to explain, in his own words, more about author, Doug DePew.
“About the Author”
The story begins in St. Louis, Missouri in 1968. I grew up in small towns southwest of there. My mom ran an in-home daycare and my dad was a deputy sheriff. I ran track and was first chair trumpet in the band. Today, I live on a small farm in southwest Missouri with my wife. Except for my years in the Army, I’ve lived in Missouri my whole life. Most of my family still lives in the St. Louis area, so I often just tell people I’m from there to save confusion. I have a BSEd in history with a minor in English and some graduate work in special education. I’m certified to teach secondary social studies. One of these days, I might go back and get a master’s in history or archaeology…or not. I’m also a dad of three, great step-kids and “Paw Paw” to three adorable grandkids with one more on the way!
How long have you been writing?
Most of my life, I guess. I’m primarily a songwriter. That’s what I’ve done the longest. I did a lot of songwriting while I was in the Army and in the years just following that. Then it tapered off a bit, but I’m getting back into it again now. This year, I became a life member of Nashville Songwriter’s Association International. I also wrote a lot in college. That’s a primary focus of history and English, so I wrote a lot there.
What was your life like before becoming an author?
I’ve done a lot of jobs. Most of it has been in the military, education, or law enforcement. I spent just over four years as an infantryman in the Army then another five years in the US Naval Reserves as a storekeeper and master at arms. I taught high school social studies. Then I was a corrections officer and taught juvenile delinquents for the state. After that, I was a correctional officer for the federal government, and today I’m a teacher in a federal prison. As far as life, I’m a pretty laid back guy. I enjoy peace.
Who or what inspired you to write?
Stories kept bouncing around my head for the last twenty years. People always enjoyed my stories about our times in the Army and kept telling me I should write a book. Then a friend from a message board told me, “If you self-publish a book, I’ll buy it!” The final kicker was when I got in touch with a former team leader from my unit in Germany on Facebook. The very first message he sent me once I confirmed his friend request said,” Tell your wife it’s all true.” I knew then that I had to write a book recording our experiences. So, I did.
Do you have a specific writing style or genre?
Both of my books are military memoirs. Any future books will probably be either history or historical fiction. That’s what I know.
Tell me about your latest book? What’s it about?
My latest book is called “Recall! Return of the IRR”, and it’s about my recall to the active duty Army in support of Operation Desert Storm. Twenty thousand of us were recalled in the largest call-up of Individual Ready Reservists since the Korean War. It was quite an experience. When I started this book, I wasn’t quite sure if there was enough material there for a full length book. It came together nicely, though. It’s not as long as the first one, but it’s about the same size as the Jimi Hendrix biography I have on the shelf.
What was your favorite part of the book to write?
My favorite part of this book was the first couple chapters while I’m going to school in Florida. When I first got out of the Army, I went to Full Sail Center for the Recording Arts in Winter Park, Florida to study recording engineering. Remembering that was a blast! I was happy to work some of the stories from there into it.
What was the hardest part to write?
The hardest part for me was the last chapter when I came home. That was a hard part of life, and it makes me emotional even now to think about it. Judging from the reaction of readers, it came across. The epilogue also moves me. Several readers have told me it moved them as well. I think there’s a shared experience there with all veterans of every era that they feel. We all came home at some point.
What do you find most rewarding in writing a book?
My books are true stories. The most rewarding thing to me is being thanked by the other people who were there for giving them a way to explain their own experiences to their families. I’ve had many fellow veterans thank me for that. As soon as I heard the reactions from the people who were there with me, I knew the books came out right. I just had another one contact me while I was doing this interview! The first book is about what we did in Germany, and I’ve also had many Germans who grew up and hung around with us thank me. Nothing could be more rewarding than giving them that gift.
Do you have any other books complete or in progress?
I have one idea that’s in progress for a book about prison education. I’d also like to write about the Missouri Civil War, but that’ll have to wait until I have more time.
What are your future plans in regards to writing?
At this point, I’m not really sure. I can only write if I feel it. I’ll have to wait and see where it takes me. For the time being, I’m trying to share these books with as many people as possible.
Are you listed on the major social networks like Facebook, twitter, Goodreads, etc…
Yes, I can be found here:
Author page: http://www.facebook.com/DougDePewAuthor?ref=hl
“SAT & BAF! Fan page: http://www.facebook.com/DougDePewAuthor?ref=hl#!/TowerRatMainTango
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DougDePew or @DougDePew
…and I’m sure many more places. These are the primary ones. I particularly recommend the “SAT & BAF!” page which is really called “Tower Rat Main Tango”. It’s hopping!
What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
If you have a good story to tell, write it. If you need help figuring out what to do then, resources are all over the Internet to help you get there. The important part is writing your story, though. If it’s good, people will want to read it. Believe in yourself.
Outside of writing, what is your most favorite thing to do and why?
I love many things. It’s hard to even make a list. I love to travel, and we often go to Mexico and drink tequila. One of my primary goals with my books is to make enough money to take my wife to Germany. I could pay for it anyway, but it would be so cool to have Germany pay for our trip to Germany. I also love to play guitar and hang out in honky-tonks. I always have music playing and like a wide variety from classic country to punk rock. I love shooting pretty much anything that can be shot and also building primitive wood bows. I also enjoy nearly anything outdoors and living history. For years, I did Civil War reenactments. I’d like to do black powder rendezvous when I retire. Of course, I also love to read. I’m always reading something. I like lots of things. Mostly, I like living.
Anything else you would like to add for future fans and friends?
I just want to thank you for taking the time to interview me, Tracy. To the future fans, I look forward to seeing you at the Tower Rat Main Tango. If you decide to check out one of my books, I hope you enjoy it. I wrote these books for millions of veterans whose story had never been told. I sincerely hope you enjoy them.
Doug, you are most welcome for the interview. I appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule to share your story. I sincerely hope my audience will take the time to check out your stories to learn from your experiences and those of your fellow veterans.