Along about 2006 or so when I had some ten titles to my credit, I decided to quit my daytime job and write full time. I was not what you would call an overnight success. I’m glad I did, but being dependent on publishers’ advances and ongoing royalties to pay the mortgage is chancy business. Sometimes the books do well and sometimes not. And it’s not an equitable business model. There are authors I’ve read who are far more talented than I who would kill for my success. There are others who publish absolute drivel and they’re successful beyond measure. So it ain’t fair, but it’s what I do. And then there’s the inevitable frustrations in dealing with publishers, editors, agents, and the government–yes the government. As a retired Naval Officer, former special operator, and former CIA employee, I’m subject to review by the military and other government agencies. Some prior-service writers choose to ignore this official scrutiny, but I don’t and won’t, even though I’ve often found it to be arbitrary and inconsistent. Then, when I’m beginning to wonder if it’s all worth it, I get an email like this:
I am sure you have many parents and prospective BUD/S reach out for advice as I did in 2010. There is nothing better than your two books, The Warrior Elite and The Finishing School. I have read each several times in addition to buying and giving away over a dozen of each of the books to family, friends and prospective BUD/S enrollees. My admiration goes out to all BUD/S candidates for enlisting–I believe the contract is for eight years–for the opportunity to find out if they have what it takes, knowing only 20% of them will ever receive a SEAL Trident. Outside of love and support, there is not much a parent can do to help in the process. I am proud, as you can appreciate, to inform you my son received his Trident–Class 296–and completed his first deployment.
Thank you for your wonderful books and for your service!
Wishing you all the best,
Proud Parent of a Seal
PS – Thought of you today as a high school friend asked for advice regarding BUD/S. He now has a copy of The Warrior Elite to learn what his son will experience later this year.
I’ve received letters similar to this from parents, family, and friends of candidate Rangers, Green Berets, and Marine Special Operators as well. And they make all the difficulties and frustrations of my trade worth it.
Dick Couch, Proud Writer