About

Welcome!!

I teach Basic Communications with the Naval Special Warfare Development Group and English Composition and Literature at Valley Forge Military College.

I edit and publish an open-access humanities journal,

The Journal of Empire Studies. The Journal resents college students and general readers with accessible scholarship on a wide variety of topics in the rise and fall of empire, East and West.

I have been writing fiction since my early 20’s. All of those early writings (four novels) were certainly energetic, yet just as certainly they were flawed. Deeply flawed. Fragmentary. Incomplete. Almost unreadable. I can go on.

So, at age thirty, I threw away everything I had written. I stopped writing for a decade. I gave my attention to my family and to editing other writers. In my forties, I wrote a newspaper column for seven years; this was good practice at writing without overthinking (something I tend to do). Then, for my masters thesis, I did a ton of writing, producing what would become a 90,000-word nonfiction ebook on Teddy Roosevelt. I have been editing academic writing from some of the smartest scholars around for the journal. Between editing journal articles and writing for my classes and just seeing more of life, raising two children, I may have gained a little more understanding of the elements of good writing.

I now offer the reader seven adventure stories. Each story is in its own pdf. I preface them with my comments on the historical context and my own path to writing the story.

These all lead up to my offering sequential chapters from my first novella,

The Boatman’s Daughter, starting in December 2012. Novellas #2 through #7 will follow The Boatman’s Daughter, with new chapters offered biweekly, and then as complete, illustrated Ebooks.

Like the stories you see here, these novellas feature troubled young protagonists in adventures at crucial moments in the rise and fall of empire. Unfortunately for you, each novella has a big idea behind it; each is a semi-epic story, complete with chases and quests, dealing with self-important themes handled in my semi-bogus manner. Good settings and decent action, though.

Also included in each novella are original illustrations by some talented artists I have commissioned.

There is no charge for the first six of the seven stories. The ebook collection of all seven stories along with a complete set of notes and illustrations will cost you $4.

I am interested to hear from readers. If you let me know which characters you like, I may be able to fit further adventures of specific characters into the writing schedule.

I have tried to keep the storylines somewhat clean of the historical detail which can be so deadly to a plot’s forward movement. Beginning July, 2013, I will begin posting annotated versions of the stories in which I can provide footnotes for the action.

Tom Durwood

Valley Forge, PA

 

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