I started writing my military memoir after retiring from FBI Las Vegas in 2016. Planning to stay in Nevada for my retirement, I enrolled in a number of memoir writing classes and thought I had a good start on my book until a hip replacement stopped production. Then a move back east to Virginia again put everything on hold.
I didn’t give up! I knew by attending the James River Writers Conference I get re-motivated by meeting like-minded memoirists and everything else I needed to know to get this book finished and published.
I met Ms. Paige Wheeler, Agent at Creative Media, INC who said she liked my idea and I should submit it to her when finished, but she and two other agents agreed the start was all wrong. I then met with Dean King, the famous author of “Skeletons On The Zahara,” who told me my title was no good. “Lessons Learned” had been my title for 10 years before I started writing. I worked on the Marine Corps Lessons Learned project and it was a very personal decision. Dean told me, ‘every memoir is a lesson learned.’ I was crushed! Then he said, start it at a crisis moment, “Oh my god! What am I doing here?” and name it “Diary of A Master Gunnery Sergeant.”
As soon as he said it, I knew! It was perfect. I pictured people walking through a book store, seeing it, picking it up, and asking, ‘WHAT IS a Master Gunnery Sergeant?’
Last summer a few of us memoir writers from Facebook formed a Zoom writer’s group. Alyson, Kay, Nichole, Caroline, Sharon, April, and I write almost daily and read to each other. They have been so supportive and love hearing the boot camp stories. None of these women have ever been in the military; one is in Portugal, one is in Copenhagen, and the rest of us scattered throughout the United States. As I add more details, I realize it’s impossible to cram 30-years of stories into one book. I’m planning a trilogy, ‘Diary of A Master Gunnery Sergeant’ Parts 1, 2, and 3, ten years each. This is the life of an enlisted woman Marine whose ‘lessons learned’ can now be used to teach others.
For marketing purposes, I needed to get my website back up and running. I will be including pictures and snippets of my book along with stories showing the evolution of women in the military over the years (since the 1970s). You can see on the MENU some of the other things I will be included so stop back often, or better yet, sign up to receive a notice when new articles are posted.
Explore the site, click on buttons (to be sure they go where they’re supposed to). They send me a comment. In just a few short sentences, let me know what you think.
Thanks for your help, and Semper Fi