This marks the 11th Chicken Soup for the Soul book to feature one or more of my stories. What makes this one extra special is that “Christmas Miracle” is about our youngest son, Sam. It’s also the first story in the book!
Even better proceeds from the sale of this volume go to Toys for Tots!
The books are on sale now at stores nationwide, or you can click the link in the title above.
I’m delighted to be presenting “The Heart of the Matter: The Art of the Interview,” at the 4th annual Spokane Writer Conference, Saturday October 20 at 10:15.
Maybe you have this amazing grandfather who served in WWll and you want to preserve his story, but he gives you one-word answers. Perhaps you know a fabulous woman who is quietly helping homeless teens, but she’s loath to talk about herself. We’ll discuss interviewing methods that focus on having conversations that allow the speakers’ natural light to shine. In this workshop, we’ll discuss how to ask the questions that will give you the information you need. And you’ll learn how to glean information from body language and how to use the context of a story to help you pinpoint the direction you’d like to go.
There are only a few spots left! Did I mention it’s FREE?
I’d love to see you at this class, so don’t delay. Click here to register today.
When I had the crazy idea that maybe I could write a book, Pat McManus read an early draft of my proposal. Then he took me out to lunch and told me it was “the best book proposal” he’d ever read and he was absolutely positive “War Bonds” would be published.
A week later, he sent me the above letter of recommendation and introduction that I could send with my proposal to agents and publishers.
He believed in me and in my book when it was still just a maybe, someday…..
Having someone believe in you and your project when it’s just a glimmer, a wisp of a hope, is incredibly powerful.
I wish every author could have someone like Patrick McManus in their corner. I am humbled beyond words that he considered himself my fan, because like millions of others I was certainly his.
Rest in peace my friend. Thank you for the joy that you brought to the world and for the life-changing encouragement you gave to me.
First my beloved Marine, Myrt Powers, died. The story of her marriage to sailor, Walt Powers, is featured in chapter 30– and is unusual because both she and her husband served in World War ll. This couple were also featured on the television show Northwest Profiles and shared their story at a local veterans support group, following the book’s publication.
I last saw Myrt in March 2016 when my husband and I ran into her waiting in line for coffee in Hawaii! She and her husband wintered on Oahu for many years.
Feisty, upbeat and absolutely adorable, Myrt is everything I want to be when I grow up. My heart aches for Walt and for all of us who knew and loved her. Though she was tiny, her absence leaves a huge hole.
Cindy Hval with Myrt and Walt Powers, 2015.
And then last week, Jack Rogers died. A lifelong, prolific artist, Rogers taught all four of my sons during his tenure as art teacher at Northwest Christian School.
The story of his courtship and enduring marriage to his wife, Fran, is featured in chapter 20 of War Bonds.
He was still painting up until the last week of his life as he decorated wooden tailgates for Personal Energy Transporters for the PET Project.
“I was given a gift and I want to share it,” he said.
And here’s where words fail.
How can I possibly convey the depth of my admiration and love for these people? How do I sum up the gratitude I feel for having been a small part of their lives and for being entrusted to share their stories with the world?
But I can say I will miss them and treasure the memories of the hours spent with Myrt Powers and Jack Rogers.
I hope that I’ve given readers of War Bonds a snapshot of how they made the post World War ll world, a place of hope.
Rest in peace, beloveds, for you have surely earned it.
My cousin, author Julie Christine Johnson, posted this graphic on her Facebook page awhile ago.
Boy, does it ever resonate with me. I’m inching my way to the finish line of my second book and have actually completed my first children’s book.
You know what that means?
Yeah. It’s time to pitch and query agents and publishers. Every writers FAVORITE thing to do. Not!
I sold War Bonds: Love Stories From the Greatest Generation directly to the publisher after my literary agent was fired from her agency. It took me a couple months to sell a manuscript she’d had a of couple years. Not exactly “spontaneous success.”
But these new books represent new opportunities to wade out into the deep water and sink or swim, instead of treading water and hoping for rescue.
Those moments of “seemingly spontaneous success” don’t happen without a lot of work and not a little bit of angst. But I truly love both of my new projects and am hopeful that they will find a home and an audience.
Wish me luck friends, I’m jumping in without my water wings 😉
Two years ago today, I was humbled and amazed by the turnout for the launch of my first book.
In the five years it took to write and publish War Bonds: Love Stories From the Greatest Generation, I lost so many of the couples featured. It broke my heart that some weren’t there to see their stories in print.
In the two years since publication, I’ve lost several more. Each death leaves an ache in my heart.
Yet at the front row of the book launch party many of my War Bonds couples were present as well as widows and widowers. They were in awe of the size of the crowd and watched with joy as every single copy of War Bondssold out at Auntie’s Bookstore.
I’ve learned a lot about publishing, publicity, book tours and public speaking over the last two years– knowledge I know will serve me well when my next book comes out.
Today I’m still somewhat disbelieving that War Bonds is on bookshelves, in libraries and for sale in bookstores all over the world.
I’m so thankful for those who stood with me during the long journey from idea to pub party.
Thankful for readers who bought the book, read the book, reviewed the book and recommended it to others.
Thankful for bookstore owners, civic groups and organizations who invited me to share the message that true love can survive anything– even a world war.
But more than anything I’m thankful for my War Bonds family. They opened their hearts, homes and lives to me and allowed me to poke around. Then they trusted me to share their stories with the world.
I have a confession to make. I’ve never listened to a podcast. My sons have played bits and blurbs of their favorite podcast for me, but I’ve never actually listened to one.
I’m right in the middle of writing my second book, Life, Love and Raising Sons (Not Necessarily in That Order) and the opportunity to host a podcast about the same topics featured in my book opened up.
Never one to wade in and test the waters, I jumped in and drug 2 of my 4 sons with me.
In the first episode we talk about spoilers and ruin Star Wars, Santa and a classic novel or two. Undaunted, in the next episode we talk about summer movies, and board games you shouldn’t play with the family.
Produced by Spokane Talks Online, the forum offers a behind-the-scenes look at the fodder for my Spokesman Review columns, magazine articles and of course my inspiration for the new book. The podcast can be downloaded at Spokane Talks Online and iTunes etc.
It’s been a bit of learning curve, but awfully fun to hang out with my sons and spill the family secrets.
I’m not yet sure if a podcast is a valuable marketing tool for a fairly new author in the middle of writing her second book. Time will tell.