If you missed Don Smith and me tonight, click below to listen. Thank you to everyone who participated in live chat and/or listened live!
Hard to believe it’s been over four years since I first sat down to write and subsequently publish Water Signs. And thanks to my good friend Don Smith, the novel is still generating interest. Check out his feature article The Signs of Summer Reading with Daria DiGiovanni on SVT Publishing:
SVT PUBLISHING: Let’s cut to the chase, what inspired you to write Water Signs?
DARIA DIGIOVANNI: Several reasons: It is a loosely autobiographical tale featuring characters that represent the American dream.
My hero, Ken Lockheart is a US Navy veteran who hails from a close, traditional and blue-collar family. Wanting something more out of his life than his Jersey Shore town can give him, he enlists in the Navy to serve his country (facing harsh disapproval from his father, who doesn’t support his ambition, but takes it as a personal insult). Ken doesn’t blame others for his circumstances, but works hard while he strives for something better.
Maddy’s father, is based on my own dad, and he is the son of hard-working immigrants. He works his way through college and medical school, always grateful for the opportunity this country affords him, and goes on to have a great career.
My book also presents a positive portrayal of Italian Americans versus the stereotype that is prevalent in our culture. The Rose family is based on my own family – hard working, upstanding people and proud Americans.
Maddy represents the struggle to honor one’s values and upbringing while trying to function in the modern dating world (conflict between morality and desire; women’s magazines never seem to represent her viewpoints; still sees herself as a chubby adolescent, even though she’s blossomed into a lovely young woman).
This story shares how Maddy and Ken both overcome challenges that test their faith, their relationship and their strength, but through the course of the novel, they come “full-circle” with a renewed faith in God and spirituality, and deep, abiding trust in each other.
Read the rest here.
Bluewater Comics, creators of such excellent biographies as Ronald Reagan, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh (for the company’s Political Power series) and Jesus Christ (for the company’s Faith series), has just released a wonderful new comic chronicling the history of the United States Army. As with all of the aforementioned efforts, this too has been penned by writer/author/journalist Don Smith, who along with the rest of the Bluewater creative team, has crafted an entertaining, informative and well-researched tribute.
Featuring attractive illustrations, witty dialogue and purposeful, succinct conversation among toy soldiers, American Defenders manages to effectively encapsulate over 235 years of Army history into 28 pages, beginning with the lead-up to the American Revolution all the way through to the current battle against Islamic jihad in the aftermath of 9/11. Yet the book never gets bogged down by excessive information. Instead, it highlights all of the crucial events and American figures — from General George Washington to George W. Bush — that helped to forge the United States’ destiny, and concurrently, that of the US Army.
While incorporating famous quotes including a wry take-down of the American press by General Robert E. Lee, Don’s narrative weaves humor and fact to create a compelling documentary that’s both educational and revealing. In a short narrative, he expertly captures the personalities of famed American figures and invigorates the story of the American founding, the ensuing clashes between liberty and tyranny, and as a consequence, the inevitable maturation of the US Army from a ragtag militia to a world-class military force.
About midway through American Defenders, Don provides an excellent overview of the Army’s Command Structure, via a Q and A between the characters — something most of us who remain civilians never learned about in school. There’s also a nice mention of the USO and the iconic Bob Hope as he is shown entertaining the troops during World War II. The book ends by reminding Americans that “because they defend, we have to honor them.”
UPDATE: Published by Parcbench. Thanks Mike Fidanza!