Thursday, May 15, 2014

Green Light... Go!

Last year, I traveled the county with my books, selling and signing copies at every venue imaginable. Looking back on the book tour, it was an absolute honor and privilege; we met so many incredible people, mostly veterans and I realized they all have a story to tell. They were all incredibly wonderful stories that should be told.  I listened to thousands, and learned a great deal about not only myself, but our nation’s veterans and history as well.    
Often, an aspiring writer would say to me, “I am thinking about writing a book about my life story… You know about my time in the military,”
“A memoir?  Have you started on it yet?” 

“Well, not yet but I've got a lot of ideas!”

“Really… Have you written a mission statement?  When do you think you might start?”

Look of confusion.

“A mission statement?  No... but one of these days I'm going to do write a book… you know, when I find the time.”  

Then I would go into my spiel about how I use my mission statement to guide my efforts, to keep me focused.  Writing a book is a very long term project that can take years and years.  The best way to do it is a little at a time, working on it each day, so forth and so on.   Sort of like building a fighting position.  You add a few more sandbags each day and pretty soon you have a fortress.  Still, you must know why you are building that fighting position and a mission statement will help.   
If it hadn't been for those encounters, I’m not sure I would have continued down this path as a writer.  With each encounter I wondered, “Why do these people open up to me like that?”  I think perhaps my personality may have something to do with it.  Are you the kind of person who complete strangers open up to and tell you things they wouldn't share with their own mother?  I am I guess… It happens to me all the time and I’m not quite sure why.   
All these encounters made me realize that I needed to make my writing about more than just what I am able to imagine by myself.  That perhaps, I could use my imagination and skills to bring life to some of these incredible stories.  I realized these are stories that should be told, stories that need to be told.  And although I am not known as a screen writer, my analysis of the story telling industry led me to realize the big screen and television have replaced other venues from which we receive information.  I.E. print, and so I rewrote my mission statement to include bringing these stories to life in both print and screen.  
I understand the debate within the publishing industry, and the difficulty of breaking into the business as an unknown screen writer in his early fifties.  The odds and task seem to be insurmountable but there is one question that plagues me…  What if?  What if the idea works?  What if I can learn and grow as time goes on?  What if I can develop the skills necessary to create something absolutely incredible? What if by helping others achieve their creative dreams I can accomplish something others say is impossible?  What if! 
I have decided that from now on, I am going to use my time and energy to help others; especially veterans achieve their creative dreams by writing screenplays and books based on their stories.  The stories they willingly share with me in the hopes their legacy, their sacrifice will not be forgotten.

Do you have a story that needs to be told, that should be told?   It is time to get started!  Someday was yesterday, tomorrow is too late!  Or do you need a swift Jump Master kick in the back side to get you out the door?  It would be my honor to spot the DZ for you.  Stop thinking about it, do it! Green Light…Go!

Monday, May 5, 2014

My Current Writing Project!

Title: “To Kill or Capture” - The True Story of Operation Kaika, the Panjwai Fight.

Genre: Non-Fiction, Military, War, Action, Adventure, Special Forces.

Author:  Steven B. Newman
High Concept/Logline:
    "To Kill or Capture" is the true combat story of a team of Green Berets from the elite, secretive US Army Special Forces.  Ambushed and surrounded, this small band of brothers take on thousands of, heavily armed Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters hell bent on killing Americans.  With fearless personal example, the team inspired their Afghan brothers to continue the fight against overwhelming odds. Not since “Black Hawk Down” in Somalia has there been such an example of conspicuous gallantry in action. 

    The true story of “Operation Kaika,” is about a team of Green Berets in a battle that took place over two days and two nights in a small village about 12 miles southwest of Kandahar. The Green Berets, just nine of them, went into the village with eight other Americans and forty-eight Afghan soldiers on a cordon and search operation to capture a Taliban leader.   At the time, the American forces were accustomed to quick hit and run attacks by the Taliban; but this time, the enemy maintained a sustained, organized assault.  Clearly the tables had turned. 
    If not for the individual heroic actions and dedication to each other, the team would have been overrun.  With fearless personal example they inspired their Afghan brothers to continue the fight against overwhelming odds.   After defeating a multitude of determined enemy attacks, saving the lives of their comrades and preventing the destruction of the team, they lead their Afghan brothers to safety in order to live and fight another day. These men exemplify the warrior spirit and once again prove, “One man with courage makes a majority.” 
    This story is in keeping with the highest traditions of military heroism and brings honor upon those who gave the ultimate measure of sacrifice during the battle.   This story and these men now join their place in history as part of our nation’s military heritage stretching back to Bunker Hill, Gettysburg, Tripoli, The Marne, Normandy, Chosin, Khe Sanh, Fallujah, and now Panjwai Afghanistan.  This is the true story of Special Forces Operational Detachment A-765 in combat. 

    Steven Boyd Newman is a screen writer born out of the US Army Special Forces.  He retired from the US Army in 2003 after having served for over twenty years as a Green Beret.  Steve’s perspective as a combat veteran brings truth and realism to this story in ways the uninitiated writer simply can not.  From Norman, Oklahoma, Steve is a published author and graduate of Columbia College.  He continues writing about life as a soldier and helping others, especially veterans achieve their creative dreams.