Author: Don Keane
Book: I Didn’t Sign Up For This
Published on: October 2015
What books have most influenced your life?
Many books on the American Civil War, especially biographies.
“I Didn’t Sign Up For This” was released October 2015. How long did it take you to write this book?
Approximately one year and a half with all of the research involved. The research took about 10-12 months. Writing the book came fairly easy after that.
Can you share a story about someone you met while researching for this book?
I worked with an Iraq war veteran who suffered a mild case of P.T.S.D. He disclosed several interesting things to me about his condition. I never realized at the time that I was inadvertently interviewing him for this book while in the course of casual conversation.
We all need a hero! Tell us about your protagonist? Was there a real-life inspiration behind him?
The story is told through the eyes of the central character J.D. Sims. It is his story. He is a war hero in some regards, but more importantly he is a life hero for learning to cope with his war P.T.S.D. after he returns home. He is such a likeable young man who we get to watch grow up and mature through his trials. But as much as we might like J.D. you would have to be a bit off your rocker not to LOVE J.D.’s love interest Susan. Wow what a woman.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Fishing Fishing Fishing. I also like to attend automobile races.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned when creating your book?
It is amazing yet tragic how many individuals truly suffer from some form of P.T.S.D. Even more tragic is the substantial number of individuals in the world who try to deny its seriousness or dismiss it as trivial.
What was the hardest part of writing this book?
Trying to stay historically accurate while keeping J.D.’s mental anguish within the realm of reality.
Is there a message in your novel that you hope readers will grasp?
Yes, so many of the important things in life, especially the concept of loving others is based on making a decision to do so, not a feeling. Duty is the most sublime form of love and is love’s ultimate expression.
What are some day jobs that you have held?
I was a practicing dentist for 25 years. It taught me patience and duty. I am now in retail management which is a whole lot more fun. I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.
What do you think makes a good story?
I feel you need characters that illicit a strong response from the reader. I think the extremes of either loving or totally despising a book’s characters draw readers in. Loving a book’s characters make readers want to emulate them or at least use them as an example for how to live life.
What are your plans for the future?
I want to move to Kentucky Lake and live on a small houseboat. It is my favorite place in the whole world. My time spent there led to my love of studying the American Civil War and it was the inspiration for the background of “I Didn’t Sign Up For This”.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I wanted to be a baseball player. How I ended up in the madness of the Dental profession I will never know.
“I Didn’t Sign Up For This” summary:
New release in Historical/Romance/Fiction; “I Didn’t Sign Up For This” by Mirador Publishing is a dramatic depiction of a young Kentucky man’s reasonable but naive life altering decision to enlist for military service in The American Civil War.
As his journeys lead him to Shiloh, Stones River, Chickamaugua, Atlanta, and Nashville, his outlook on life is forever changed. Surviving the war, but not its harrowing effects, he returns home to loved ones with a strange P.T.S.D. like illness in tow.
He struggles greatly with his sanity and self-worth as recurrent nightmares and terrifying flashbacks plague him both mentally and emotionally. He grudgingly finds solace in the persistent romantic overtures of a strong and beautiful woman who sees so much more in him. He is also nurtured and protected by unseen loving angelic forces, an angle which unravels slowly throughout the narrative as somewhat of a mystery. This is not a story of war but ultimately a story of triumph over tragedy, a story of blessing, healing, joy and pure romance.