Recent Releases

Category: Recent Releases

Swimming with Horses Blog

How did you research your book?

They say that you should write what you know, and I think that this is either good advice or bad, depending on the circumstances. If writers wrote only what they knew, we’d have no Lord of the Rings, no Chronicles of Narnia, and precious little science fiction. (We might not even have the Bible.)

On the other hand, the things you know best are apt to contain the most powerful forces in your life. Why not harness them?

Writing is a lonely effort. While the raw material for Blamed and Broken came from countless hours spent talking to other people, translating their words into a coherent and undeniable narrative fell solely to me. It was difficult. Not just because the scope of the book spans more than a decade in the lives of so many people. Not because it required a fresh look at thousands of pages of documents that had either been hidden or carted off to archives.

My grandmother told a lot of stories. In her 84 years, she’d experienced a lot, and felt a duty of sorts to impart her knowledge learned on anyone who would listen. Luckily, she was a very engaging storyteller, and had the sort of perspective that was always worth considering, even if you ultimately disagreed with it. It’s been 12 years since she passed away after a long battle with cancer.

Afghanistan loomed large in my imagination long before I ever set foot there. I grew up listening to my Grandfather tell tales of serving in British India, hanging on his every word. In my mind, Afghanistan was a wild place on the border of civilization. It was a place for adventure.

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