Karl Marlantes

I have written about persistence before, especially for writers trying to publish a book. Here is another example from my 10 Tips book that tells of the struggle of an author who never gave up.

He was a highly decorated U. S. Marine Corps officer and Vietnam veteran, Karl Marlantes, who spent over 35 years writing his acclaimed debut novel Matterhorn.

Now a bestseller, the novel deals with his experience as a young marine fighting a war against the Vietcong at a remote military outpost based on a mountain top. It was given the codename Matterhorn from which the book derives its title. Situated near the DMZ (demilitarised zone) and the Laotian border, it became a killing field for the marines of Bravo Company as they are ordered to abandon the post, and then in the madness of war and a series of bloody battles, ordered to retake it.

The book is one that Marlantes felt he had to write, to tell the story of the evil consequences of war and its aftermath, as he saw it through his own eyes as a young marine. During the writing of the book, while he worked as a business consultant and raised a young family, he suffered bouts of post-traumatic stress disorder. Despite the difficulties he encountered, his persistence paid off and Matterhorn finally reached the New York Times bestseller list.

This story made a tremendous impact in the US and was called by one reviewer ‘The Vietnam novel of our generation’.

There are other examples to be found in the 10 Tips book How I Wrote My First Book, available on the website: www.williamlongbooks.co.uk

The eBook: How I Wrote My First Book is also available on Amazon


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