I have been quite busy on a few fronts (both of my careers) and negligent in updating my blog. So, here’s an update on various writing projects for those that are interested. Pardon me if I ramble…
First up – I discovered today that my book on the Cuban Missile Crisis, The Fires of October, (Fonthill Media) is a finalist in the History category for the Military Writers Society of America. I couldn’t be happier. The book breaks new ground in Missile Crisis studies, revealing the invasion plans for Cuba in 1962. I have gotten two silver medals in the past for my books – I’m hoping that this year I score a gold. The book has been getting good coverage in the media, so I’m honored just to be considered again. http://www.warbirdsnews.com/warbird-articles/interviews/blaine-pardoes-the-fires-october.html
My next book to reach readers is the true crime project, The Murder of Maggie Hume: Cold Case in Battle Creek. (The History Press). The title of this project changed from Unsolved Battle Creek and I’m happy that it did – I like having the victim of this crime brought up-front-and-center. This is a case where the victim has sometimes been lost in the chaos of the investigation, so I’m glad she gets top billing here. When you read the book you’ll understand what I mean.
Sidebar: For some reason publishers like changing my titles, and I’ve learned not to cringe much at this. You have to have a thick skin in this business. Like I told one marketing person who questioned one of my titles several years ago, “You can call the book, Free Beer if you think it will sell the books to the right people.”
This book will start arriving in bookstores in August, and it’s available right now for pre-order from The History Press and on Amazon.com. This book was an incredible amount of labor to research, but I was lucky because my co-author, Victoria Hester, is so talented and full of energy. She’s my daughter as well, and from what I have found, we’re the only father/daughter true crime author team out there. She tackled some of the hardest parts of this book – and did a great job.
This book hits home for both of us because, as a cold case, this one is one that could be brought to trial. There have been a lot of rumors over the years in Battle Creek MI, where the crime took place, as to the perpetrator(s) and motives. The national media got involved and really muddied the waters, as you will read in the book.
We’re hoping this book can give people the answers to some long open questions regarding this senseless and brutal murder. Books on cold cases tend to make some people uncomfortable – especially those responsible.
We will be in Battle Creek in mid-October doing some lectures and book signing events. More on that later, when the book is finally out.
Sidebar Number Two: There must be something going on where I was raised because Western Michigan is getting a lot of air-time soon. CBS has a new TV series coming out soon called Battle Creek. And Marshall MI, the nearby town my family hails from (and that I wrote about in my true crime book, Secret Witness) has a TV show airing this week on The History Channel – Dark Horse Nation. My family and I have long been patrons of the Dark Horse, so it is extra cool to see Aaron and the guys get some much deserved publicity. The Dark Horse Nation is strong in Virginia guys. But I digress…
I just finished the last editorial pass on Never Wars The US Plans to Invade the World. (Fonthill Media). This book covers the US’s war plans starting in 1904-1941. The details of these plans for attacking Great Britain, Germany, Canada, etc., are fascinating reading. They really give you an insight into the political realities of the era, as well as the gradual evolution in US military planning. Wargamers out there are going to love this because it is fertile material for any number of “what if” gaming sessions.
Sawney Bean – Dissecting the Legend of the Scottish Cannibal. (Fonthill Media) will be coming out sometime this fall. Ever see The Hills Have Eyes? It was based on this story. This is a cross between a history book, a horror story, and a true crime book. Did Sawney Bean and his family kill over a thousand people in the Galloway region of Scotland, only to devour their victims? This book really emphasizes how folklore evolves and changes over time as well.
Other stuff. I’m writing fiction again, military sci-fi. That’s all I can say. No, it’s not BattleTech. I know my fans what BattleTech, but there are tangible reasons I am not writing those novels right now. I just finished the first book in this new and exciting effort – well over 110k words – so this is not a small book at all. This is something new, something huge, something different and more importantly, fun. It has been great for me to get back to doing some good military fiction again.
So what’s next? More on the fiction front – follow my blog for information. I have two ideas in mind for Michigan history books, something I enjoy doing. I’m heading to Ithaca NY in October for a silent film viewing of Bert Hall’s film, A Romance of the Air, which was filmed there. Since I wrote his biography (The Bad Boy – Fonthill Media) , I thought going there was a great idea. I am also penciled in to speak at the September meeting of the League of WWI Aviation Historians in Dayton on another subject I wrote about – Frederick Zinn (Lost Eagles – University of Michigan Press).
Thanks for tuning in…there’s a lot coming.