I want to share a small video with you that gets to the heart of a key motivation I had for writing The King – refreshing (or educating) readers on the polarity and divisiveness we experienced in the 1960s and early 1970s, in order for readers to make comparisons to the polarity we’re experiencing today.
Last week, with the gracious sponsorship of Ben Wood, CEO of ViewSPORT. I held an event at the Genesee Valley Club in Rochester, NY to launch the publication of my debut novel, The King of Kreskin Avenue.
About 60 people came, and I had a chance to experience my first reading, my first book signings, and on a more commercial note, my first sales of what I hope to be many books. My thanks go out to my family, especially my wife Janice, for their help in pulling off this event.
I even got my two grandchildren, Hazel and Pearl, to help with a drawing for free signed copies, and with the help of soon-to-be-Mama-Shannon, got soon-to-arrive Baby Delbert (or Delberta, as we do not know the sex) to pull a name out of a porkpie hat which I gave away to one lucky winner. In my presentation and in the Q&A, I talked about the fact that we’ve forgotten the divisiveness of the 1960s and its consequences. Assassinations. Race riots. Poverty. Hippies.
Impeachment. And, of course, the War in Vietnam that plays a key role in the narrative of the King. People have forgotten or had no clue that in addition to 2 million civilians, 1.1 million North Vietnamese and Viet Cong fighters, and 250,000 South Vietnamese soldiers, some 60,000 Americans lost their lives. Another 150,000 U.S. military personnel were wounded.
Within this divisiveness were the conscientious objectors and draft evaders. The Selective Service recognized over 170,000 conscientious objectors and estimates by Canadian authorities are that 20,000 to 30,000 draft-eligible American men came to Canada as immigrants during the Vietnam era.
That’s nearly 200,000 young men that made their voices heard in a dramatic way leaving raw scars that for the most part, have faded away, to be replaced with new wounds that are every bit, if not more destructive.
Economic disparity. The loss of common sense overshadowed by the power of half-truths and half lies by politicians and media. Political correctness and the cancel culture. Racism. Sexual predators. White nationalists. Anti-Semitism. Court rulings that corporations-are-people. The death of empathy. The lack of moral courage. Entertainers masked as conspiracy theorists. The destructiveness of social media. The assassinations of school children. The mindless drivel of popular culture.
The lesson of The King is that it takes individuals of conscience with strong moral compasses to make a stand and do what’s necessary or right, even if those actions are deemed questionable.
I’m looking forward to readers weighing in!