Want to find the Great American Hero? Look in the mirror.

Karen Silkwood led a brave fight and died a suspicious death.
Karen Silkwood led a brave fight and died a suspicious death.


You’re simply an author, you say.

That’s all.

You’ve just happened to cast your lot in life with eBooks and the digital revolution, and you say it’s hard to be a success.

There’s nothing heroic about it.

On some days, it seems that you merely throwing words against the wall to see if any of them stick, and some of them don’t, and the wall throws some of them back in your face.

Frustration sets in.

Don’t fret.

Frustration knocks on all of our doors.

For a writer, it always has.


Just remember one important fact.

Since the beginning of time, the world and all of humanity needs storytellers.

You just happen to be a storyteller.

And you have a story to tell.

All you need is the Great American Hero.

You know him.

Or her.

The Great American Hero has long been the foundation of fiction, nonfiction, film, legends, and life.

Gary Cooper in High Noon
Gary Cooper in High Noon

The Great American Hero has always been the one who stood strong when he had no chance of winning, who went to war against overwhelming odds, who defied those odds, who refused to bend, refused to back down, refused to quit.

There was Gary Cooper in High Noon.

He walked out into the street alone.

There was no one to help him.

But he was willing to exchange his life for the sake of law and order.

There was Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird.

He walked into the courtroom alone.

There was no one to help him, but many willing to condemn him.

He was, however, determined to stand tall for a cause he believed in and defend a man who had no chance of ever being judged innocent.

There was The Killing of Karen Silkwood.

Karen led the investigation into her company alone.

There were few who believed her and fewer willing to back her.

But she was willing to risk it all in order to blow the whistle on faulty plutonium fuel rods that her firm was manufacturing and protect other workers from becoming contaminated by deadly radiation.

Her death was suspicious.

It remains a mystery.

She is buried in my hometown of Kilgore.

I don’t know if her body was wracked with radiation or not.

But I do know that no grass grows on her grave.

Audie Murphy, war hero
Audie Murphy, war hero

There was Audie Murphy in To Hell and Back.

He charged enemy lines alone.

There was no one to help him. The other troops were dug in and hanging on for dear life.

But he was willing to defy death itself in order to save his unit on a bloodstained battlefield in a foreign land so far from home.

One alone.

One against all odds.

So who are the Great American Heroes of today?

Look in the mirror sometime.

The Great American Heroes are the independent authors, and there are legions of them.

They battle the fickle and unpredictable publishing business alone.

Only the fortunate few find someone to help them.

But they are willing to forsake any semblance of a normal, sensible life and invest their time and their talent, their hopes and their dreams, their last ounce of sanity in novels they pray someone will buy and someone will want to read.

Frustrations come.

But like a bellyache, it passes.

Indie writers keep getting knocked down.

They keep getting back up.

They don’t give up.

They don’t quit.

They can’t.

There is another story to be told, and the Great American Heroes can’t wait to tell it.

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