Today I introduce you to Christine Kohler, author of NO SURRENDER SOLDIER due out Jan.18. Christine’s experience as a journalist gave her instant credibility in my eyes. Her YA novel is set in Guam and connects two wars–Vietnam and WWII.
Publisher's Weekly recently mentioned NO SURRENDER SOLDIER as a book helping teens make sense of war. Important for kids, whose country has been at war since they were born.
"War is a terrible thing, and many return with wounds invisible to the eye." -- Terry Pratchett, DODGER
This is true of all my characters in NO SURRENDER SOLDIER. The after-effects of war on people's lives are like contracting a genetic disease, even passing it down to future generations.
People often ask how I got interested in writing about war. I usually tell them about my experiences as a reporter living in Pacific-Asian nations. My heartstrings tugged when I heard the stories of refugees. So for decades I wrote about war refugees.
My first article in the mid-1980s was about Laotians who came to Hawaii to start new lives. My last news article on the topic was in the mid-90s when Russian Jews relocated to the United States.
On Guam's annual Liberation Day I interviewed Guamanians who had been subjugated by the Japanese during World War II. It was out of these stories while I lived on Guam, Japan, and Hawaii, plus my travels to the Philippines, Saipan, and Korea that led me to write about war in Pacific–Asia in NO SURRENDER SOLDIER.
Even though NO SURRENDER SOLDIER takes place in 1972 at the end of the Vietnam civil war and revolves around events from World War II, I don't think of my book so much as being about war as dealing with the after-effects of war on the individual.
As General Sherman said, "It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation. War is hell."
And, regarding the survivors, he said, "Courage--a perfect sensibility of the measure of danger, and a mental willingness to endure it."
It is my hope that NO SURRENDER SOLDIER honors those-- on all sides of the battle lines-- who endured, survived, and rose above the pain of war.
Read more in-depth on this subject at Christine Kohler’s blog READ LIKE A WRITER.
Do you know someone who has survived war? Does anything in this article ring true for you? Please share your thoughts.
I'm fascinated to discover little-known history, stories of people and events that provide a new perspective on why and how things happened, new voices that haven't been heard, insight into how the past brought us here today, and how it might guide us to a better future.
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