|I Didn't Sign Up For This|
Dr. Don C. Kean
Tell us a little about yourself
I was a practicing General Dentist for 25 years. After many years of frustration and harassment I quit in 2012. I am currently working in retail management and am much more at peace with myself. I love to study the amazing individuals who participated in The American Civil War. I love the lifestyle and mannerisms of that era. I am an avid freshwater fisherman who would rather go to Kentucky Lake than anywhere else in the world. I also like Automobile racing.
What genre do you write in?
My first book "Great Men??? At The Worst Time" was published in 2014. It provides brief biographical chapters on several of the men who participated in The American Civil War. It is intended as an introductory style book for readers not particularly acquainted with that era of history.
Tell us about your latest book
My latest book "I Didn't Sign Up For This" is Historical Fiction. It is set during the American Civil War and chronicles the life of a good and decent young man named Joshua David Sims (J.D.), from Western Kentucky who enlists for military service in the war. The book starts with him telling his story on an old fashioned wooden front porch on The Cumberland River and that is exactly where it ends. While his choice and reasoning for participating in the war is sound, he youthfully and naively fails to foresee the harrowing consequences his choice will bear.
The book briefly details some of his upbringing as well as his worldview. That information plays a central part at the stories end. He also details the geography and culture of the home place he loves in Western Kentucky. This all becomes more important to the story as it evolves. While this is not only a story of war, young Joshua's trials during the war are candidly detailed as he sees death and suffering on the battlefield as well as in makeshift Civil War hospitals.
He survives the war physically but struggles once back at home after the war as he suffers extreme mental anguish from all he witnessed and was forced to do to survive the war. He cannot forgive himself and feels it impossible to see how anyone could love such a violent and hardened man like himself. He often forgets that there is abundant spiritual aid available to lift him up. Enter Susan: Joshua's playmate from school.
Susan is the epitome of a great woman. She loves Joshua dearly and refuses to give up on him. She persistently romances him while he grudgingly refuses, seeing himself as unworthy and incapable of being good to any woman. Susan's love plus the intervention of spiritual forces that unconditionally love him lead to his healing. Despite the graphic accounts of the war and Joshua's tortuous struggle with a post war P.T.S.D. like illness this is ultimately a story of hope, love, and blessing. It is a story of overcoming tragedy and illness.
When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
I knew back around 2000. But other obligations at that time prevented me from being able to pursue it further. It was during an unintended sightseeing trip in 2008 to Fort Donelson, (while on a fishing trip of all things), that the fire would be ignited. It was then that I began my fascination with The American Civil War.
Are there any books or writers who have particularly influenced or inspired you as a writer?
Military biographers have always been my favorites Douglas Southall Freeman would probably be my favorite.
What is your proudest moment as a writer so far?
My proudest moments are when someone tells me that the book got to them or made them cry. I had a nice lady at work the other day tell me that she had to quit reading one of the battle accounts because she said "it took her there and scared her". Those types of compliments are what make you feel good as a writer. I like it when people say the got caught up in the story.
Have you ever considered branching out into other genres? If so which other genre/s would you like to write in?
Real Biographical History and realistic and accurate Historical Fiction would be my two genres.
Would you write under the same name or use a pen name for each genre? What's your take on writing in multiple genres under one name?
I would only use my real name.
Why did you decide to be an independent author?
I simply saw too many obstacles to trying the traditional publishing route. Working 55-65 hours per week limited my time greatly.
If one of the big 5 publishers offered you a contract tomorrow would you swap indie for traditional publishing, stay as you are, or try to do both?
Probably try to do both.
What's the biggest challenge you've faced as an indie?
The biggest challenge is finding the time to market your book, especially if you have a lot of other irons in the fire.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am not currently writing a book. I am in the tentative research phase of figuring what I will write next. I have two ideas at this time. The first might be a sequel to my latest book. The other is the story of a Union officer or soldier who travels the south at the wars end and afterwards and tells of the hypocrisy and corruption of the Federally set up military governments.
Where can people buy your books or find out more about you?
Buy Don's Book
Connect with Don
My website: There you can get reviews and more background information for what inspired me to write it.
My Facebook page contains a photo album I put together of various pictures and Civil war sites that are central to the story. I provided brief captions for each as they pertain to Joshua's story.
N.B. This author interview does not constitute the endorsement of the featured writer or their work by this blog. This interview is provided as part of a free promotional opportunity for indie authors.