CATCH 22 for VIETNAM
A snarky teenager fails to avoid the Vietnam War.
John Ryan never killed anyone, never even fired a gun.
He just saw things; some funny, others, not so much.
He worked in an airconditioned computer building in the safest city in Vietnam. If you had to fight a war, this was the way to do it.
Friends, parties, weed and rock & roll filled their nights. Laughter and comradeship were plentiful. They thought they would serve their tour and escape back to the real world unharmed.
War leaves no one untouched. No one escapes. All wounds are not from bullets.
First cousins, Steve’s and Pat Conroy’s families often shared their grandmother’s big house in Atlanta. Both wanted to be writers. Pat, ever the smart one, became a literary lion before he was thirty. Once, Pat convinced Steve to trade his brand new pair of Hopalong Cassidy six-shooter cap pistols for a barely repaired souvenir tomahawk from a Cherokee Indian reservation in North Carolina. Years passed, Steve brooded over the bad deal while Pat created a chapter-by-chapter outline to make himself famous. Of course, he had an advantage that allowed him to jump to the head of twenty thousand other would-be authors, Pat could really write. So there stood Steve, holding his broken tomahawk in Hopalong Conroy’s verbal dust.
But he never gave up. Steve worked in Summer writers workshops taught by greats including; Kurt Vonnegut, James Dickey, and, of course, his cousin, Pat Conroy. Steve began writing semi-seriously in the 1990’s. Now, for better or for worse, he writes full time.
Steve traveled extensively exploring histories and myths of peoples and places. He loves all things ancient, mysterious and digs deep into lore and enigmas of his subjects.
Steve researches everything before he writes about it. One glib critic, praising his ability to blend history and facts into novels accused Steve of creating a new writing genre, ‘faction.’
Of course, there were wonderful writers in the past who wrote that way years before him, but in today’s speed of light world, not many take the time to research and build a story combining facts and fiction.
Difficult to classify his books, they are always reviewed as unique and fresh storylines with believable characters. Often, he can’t help sprinkling a touch of humor in an otherwise serious scene.