Book Bloggin' Princess Interviews Robert Wideman, author of Unexpected Prisoner

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Robert Wideman was born in Montreal, grew up in East Aurora, New York, and has dual U.S./Canadian citizenship. During the Vietnam War, he flew 134 missions for the U.S. Navy and spent six years as a prisoner of war. Wideman earned a master’s degree in finance from the Naval Postgraduate School. After retiring from the Navy, he graduated from the University of Florida College of Law, practiced law in Florida and Mississippi, and became a flight instructor. Robert Wideman holds a commercial pilot’s license with an instrument rating, belongs to Veterans Plaza of Northern Colorado, and lives in Ft. Collins near his two sons and six grandchildren.

Connect with the author on the web: Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn
Q: Congratulations on the release of your book, Unexpected Prisoner. What was your inspiration for it?

A: My two sons and six grandchildren inspired me to write this book, because I wanted something to leave something permanent on paper for them about my experience as a POW in North Vietnam. I also wanted to tell the world that it was harder on our families than it was on us.  We knew that we were getting our two slops and a flop every day. Our families did not know anything about our treatment. I also wanted to rebut the propaganda that our government released to the public about the treatment of POWs in North Vietnam.
Q: Why was the writing of this book important for you?

A: Writing this book was important to me, because I wanted something permanently on paper for my children and grandchildren. I also wanted to tell people how difficult this experience was on our families. My mother could not eat a steak for six years, because she did not know if the North Vietnamese gave me enough to eat. This experience destroyed my father. When I came home he looked like he was 100 years old. He was only 57.
Q: How was your creative process like during the writing of this book and how long did it take you to complete it? Did you face any bumps along the way?

A: I think my creative process was like zero. I just wrote the way I talk, because someone told me that that is what you are supposed to do. It took me four years to write 100 pages. Two years ago, at age 71, I realized that I might not finish this book before someone put me in the ground. I contacted Graham Communications in Denver, Colorado.  Mark Graham introduced me to Cara Lopez Lee. Cara is the co-author. It took her two more years to finish this book. This book has 374 pages now. She did a wonderful job. The only bumps I faced along the way were when I edited what Cara wrote. We fought like cats and dogs, because she looked at the book from an artist’s point of view, while I looked at the book from my personal experiences. We resolved   our differences, and I think, together, we came up with a great product.
Q: What is the one thing you hope readers will take away from your book?

A: I hope that readers will read my book and question the official story that our government put out on the treatment of POWs in North Vietnam. I also hope that readers will question everything our government does and says. The government looks out for their favorite interest groups and ignores others.
Q: What discoveries or surprises did you experience while writing this book?

A: I learned that it took a lot longer to write a book than I thought it would. I also learned that sometimes you just have to take a break and walk away from your work. Otherwise you might go a little stir crazy. You also have to learn to get along with the publisher and the co-author otherwise all your work will go to waste.
Q: How do you define success as an author?
A: I define success by the reaction of those who actually read my book.  So far, the response has been terrific. If you go on Amazon, my book has never received lass than 5 stars, which is the best you can do. I am also very happy that veterans who were in the infantry really like my book too. Many infantry veterans think that pilots had an easier job during wartime than they did, and they were right. The infantry always bears the brunt during wartime. I believe that veterans who had to fight on the ground can relate to my book, because my book supports what they had to go through and how they feel.
Q: Could you talk a little bit about your publishing process?

A: Yes I can. It was a goat rope! The publishing experience was totally unexpected. It seems like the publishing industry is set up for the benefit of distributors, printers, and publishers. It is definitely not set up for the benefit of authors. Amazon takes 55% off the top. Then IngramSpark charges 6.44 to print each copy. On a book that retails for $15.95 that leaves $.74 profit on each book before taxes. That is less than 5% profit. That is just outrageous and tells you all you need to know about the publishing industry. 
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring nonfiction writers? Could you offer some tips or resources that have been helpful to you?

A: I believe that everyone has a story to tell. You need to do a lot of research on publishing. I am still finding out new ways I could have gone both in the writing , the publishing, and the distribution.
Q:  Anything else you’d like to tell my readers?

A: Yes. Buy more books.
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Title: UNEXPECTED PRISONER: Memoir of a Vietnam Prisoner of War
Genre: Memoir
Author: Robert Wideman
Websitewww.robertwideman.com       
Publisher: Graham Publishing Group
Find on Amazon
About the Book: 
When Unexpected Prisoner opens, it’s May 6, 1967 and 23-year-old Lieutenant Robert Wideman is flying a Navy A-4 Skyhawk over Vietnam.  At 23, Wideman had already served three and a half years in the Navy—and was only 27 combat days away from heading home to America. But on that cloudless day in May, on a routine bombing run, Wideman’s plane crashed and he fell into enemy hands. Captured and held for six years as a Prisoner of War in Vietnam, Wideman endured the kind of pain that makes people question humanity.  Physical torture, however, was not the biggest challenge he was forced to withstand.  In his candid memoir, Unexpected Prisoner, Wideman details the raw, unvarnished tale of how he came to understand the truth behind Jean-Paul Sartre’s words: “Hell is other people.”

A gripping, first-person account that chronicles the six-year period Wideman spent in captivity as a POW, Unexpected Prisoner plunges readers deep into the heart of one of the most protracted, deadliest conflicts in American history:  the Vietnam War. Wideman, along with acclaimed memoirist Cara Lopez Lee, has crafted a story that is exquisitely engaging, richly detailed, and wholly captivating. Unexpectedly candid and vibrantly vivid, this moving memoir chronicles a POW’s struggle with enemies and comrades, Vietnamese interrogators and American commanders, lost dreams, and ultimately, himself.

With its eye-opening look at a soldier’s life before, during and after captivity, Unexpected Prisoner presents a uniquely human perspective on war and on conflicts both external and internal. An exceptional story exceptionally well-told, Unexpected Prisoner is a powerful, poignant, often provocative tale about struggle, survival, hope, and redemption.

🏰 Book Feature: Battle for Cymmera by Dani-Lyn Alexander

Friday, November 25, 2016
Title: Battle for Cymmera, Kingdom of Cymmera Book Three
Author: Dani-Lyn Alexander
Publisher: Lyrical Press/Kensington
Pages: 226
Genre: YA Fantasy
With Chayce Maynard on the run, Ryleigh and Jackson can finally begin rebuilding their kingdom. But when a cryptic message suggests Chayce was seen in Argonas, chaos creeps back into Cymmera once more . . .

Jackson knows Cymmera will never be safe until Chayce, guilty of treason, is detained and executed. After ordering Cymmeran guardsmen to scour the land, he and the Death Dealer team brave wild Argonas in search of the informant who spotted his foe. And in his absence, Jackson not only leaves the throne empty, but the kingdom vulnerable to attack . . .

As a vicious army descends on Cymmera, Ryleigh is forced to flee to an uncharted realm with a small group of survivors—a place Jackson has no chance of discovering. Alone, but for the few people she was able to save, Ryleigh must decide whether to reclaim her kingdom or remain in the new realm forever, forsaking all she left behind . . .

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Book Excerpt:

As she slid past her throne, Ryleigh’s sword caught on the arm, and she took a step back and untangled it. She’d never get used to wearing the stupid thing everywhere she went. If not for Jackson’s insistence, it’d probably be stuffed under her bed beside the baseball bat she kept hidden there.
She pulled open a drawer on the side table behind her throne and rifled through the papers she’d stuffed in there in search of her leather appointment book. If she couldn’t find answers, may as well get some work done. It was either that or dwell on Jackson’s mission and the terror it brought. She pressed a hand against her heaving stomach. No. She couldn’t think about that. She had more immediate problems she might actually be able to do something about.
Several meetings had to be scheduled, and without writing them down, she’d never keep track of where she was supposed to be. Especially with her mind so jumbled with images of Jackson going up against Chayce.
She snatched the book, shoved the drawers shut, and turned to leave.
Ryleigh’s vision blurred. The air shimmered in the center of the throne room, and her ears popped.
She ripped her sword from its sheath even as the portal opened.
A seven-foot-tall beast built of solid muscle tore through the portal. A triple headed flail swung from one massive hand.
About the Author

Dani-Lyn lives on Long Island with her husband, three kids and three dogs. She loves spending time with her family, at the beach, the playground, or just about anywhere. In her spare time, which is rare, she enjoys reading and shopping—especially in book stores. Some of her favorite things include; Bernese Mountain Dogs, musicals, bubble baths and soft blankets. She’s an incurable insomniac, and she has an addiction to chocolate.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

🏰 Book Feature: Forbidden Knight by Diana Cosby

Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Title: Forbidden Knight
Author: Diana Cosby
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Historical Romance
Format: Ecopy 

“Diana Cosby is superbly talented.” —Cathy Maxwell, New York Times bestselling author 

Deep within Scotland, a healer and a warrior join forces to protect Scotland’s future . . .

There is an intruder in the woods near King Robert Bruce’s camp, but when Sir Thomas MacKelloch comes face-to-face with the interloper, he is shocked to discover his assailant is a woman. The fair lady is skilled with a bow and arrow and defiant in her responses. The wary Knight Templar dare not allow her beauty to lower his guard. Irritated by his attraction, he hauls her before his sovereign to expose her nefarious intent.

Outraged Sir Thomas dismissed her claim, Mistress Alesone MacNiven awaits the shock on the arrogant knight’s face when he learns that she has told the truth. But it is she who is shocked, and then horrified, as it is revealed that her father, the king’s mortal enemy, has betrothed her to a powerful noble, a deal that could jeopardize the king’s efforts to unite Scotland. Robert Bruce orders Sir Thomas to escort Alesone to safety. As they embark on a harrowing journey through the Highlands, Alesone tries to ignore her attraction to the intimidating warrior, but as she burns beneath Thomas’s kiss she realizes this fearless knight could steal her heart. 

MEET THE AUTHOR

diana-cosby   

 A retired Navy Chief, Diana Cosby is an international bestselling author of Scottish medieval romantic suspense.  Her award-winning books are translated in five languages.  Diana has appeared at Lady Jane’s Salon, in NYC, and in Woman’s Day, on USA Today’s romance blog, “Happily Ever After,” MSN.com, and in Texoma Living Magazine.

After retiring as a Navy Chief, AGC(AW), Diana dove into her passion – writing romance novels. With 34 moves behind her, she was anxious to create characters who reflected the amazing cultures and people she’s met throughout the world.

Her years of living in Europe inspired Diana to write in the medieval time frame.  After watching the movie Braveheart and with her passion for writing complex plots, the idea for the MacGruder brothers series was born.

With the release of her 1st book in her new Scottish medieval The Oath trilogy, An Oath Taken, which hit bestseller lists in Canada and the United Kingdom, she’s now preparing for the release of the e Box Set of the MacGruder Brothers series on February 24th, and the last two books in The Oath trilogy, An Oath Broken – 22 June, and, An Oath Sworn – 23 December, 2015!

Diana has many passions in life, but one that resonates in her life is that of giving. She firmly believe that each of us can make a positive difference in another person’s life.

Some of the charities she supports are listed below: ntfslogo

The National Trust for Scotland, which acts asguardian of Scotland’s magnificent heritage of architectural, scenic and historic treasures.

Habitat For Humanity, which gives a deserving family more than a home, but a foundation upon which to build their dreams..

Semper Fi Fund , is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit to help with immediate financial support for injured and critically ill members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families.

Homes For Our Troops, assists severely injured Servicemen and Servicewomen and their immediate families through various venues to aid them in building a home that allows them live a more independent life.

The Navy SEAL Foundation, provides immediate and ongoing support and assistance to the Naval Special Warfare community and their families.

CONNECT WITH DIANA: WEBSITE