A Very Special Launch Day

When Cord Scott and I were planning the Launch day of his book FOUR COLOUR COMBAT, this date, April 16, stood out for its special meaning. The following is a note from the author we’d like to share:

This book is a personal one for me. All books are, but my ancestors guided this one. When I was in graduate school, 2008 was a difficult year initially. I had lost my job as a college administrator just before, and I was struggling to find work. I was also researching my dissertation when I applied for and was accepted to attend, a battlefield tour with the Gregg Centre from New Brunswick to the battlefields of Sicily and Italy. I felt that my grandfather, Jerry Smetana, who served with the Third Infantry Division in World War II and had been on this ground, guided this application.

While I was on the trip, I was able to see so many places Jerry saw, and I wondered what he felt as he looked upon these same areas. I also gained a far greater appreciation of the incredible fighting that the Canadians endured. I was able to connect with some great friends and colleagues, who influenced me in terms of writing (a book review of the Canadian contingent in Korea) and research (a visit from the other American on the trip on a cold day in Tokyo of all places!). And most of all it was this trip that allowed me to connect and share in the camaraderie with this group. I am still in awe of what they have produced for history and am proud that they continue to run that tour and others as well.

This book officially launches, today, April 16, the day after my grandmother Evelyn Smetana (nee Davis) would have turned 98. While 2008 started with sadness and angst (grandma passed in January that year), I was able to persevere gaining work by the fall of 2008.

There are other personal recollections that I hold dear, but this book comes from both the lows and highs of life. For those who struggle with doubt or those who think it can’t be done, I am the embodiment that it can. Neither of my grandparents written about here ever rose above an eighth-grade education; however, their first-born grandson was the first to graduate from high school, the second family to graduate from college, and the first to earn a Doctorate. Ever forward, ever forward.

Click here to order FOUR COLOUR COMBAT from Amazon.


The wrong ending...

I have struggled for days trying to come up with something to say that could ease the pain of such senseless terrorism but I have nothing but silence.

These victims, some who survived unspeakable horrors, had their lives cut short by unfathomable hatred.

My heart breaks for their families and friends but I urge them to keep alive the memories and stories of their loved ones. These stories must not die. We must tell their stories and the stories of all of our histories. Telling them as a reminder of what is good, what is not, and hopefully these stories can become a lesson to all who hear.

Never forget history–where we came from, what was fought for, what we must preserve. We are here to love and help because of our humanity not our color, religion, or gender.

Be kind. Be empathic. Be brave. Be you.

My Why...

Exactly two months ago, the W. Brand Publishing website launched. It is amazing where we are after such a short time–morphing into an even more useful outlet for writers and self-published authors. I am beyond excited about the projects we are working on and promoting. You’ll see those soon.

In the meantime, my intent was always to start this blog with my why–that thing that drove me to start a company in an already saturated publishing industry. Truly it is my love of the story–the lines formed from heart-baring emotion, the connection to the reader, and gorgeous typefaces (I would be lying if I didn’t admit to my love of type). In the our story segment on this site, you read about the inspiration of the company name–how after 21 years I still grieve my father’s lost stories. It is a sort of grieving that only paying-it-forward can quell. In some small way, he will live on through others’ stories if only because our authors now have the opportunity to tell them.

This is where my passion lies…to empower writers to find a voice that breaks down the barriers in the hearts and minds of readers who need to hear the message–to heal, to connect, to remind, to survive.

And now you know why