Xlibris Publishing introduces Gerry Feld, author of A Journey into War.
About Your Book and Yourself.
A Journey into War is the story of Steve Kenrude, a high school student from Minnesota, who desperately wants to get into the army to serve his country after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Graduating from high school, he fulfills his wish to the dismay of his family and girl friend. The story takes him through basic training and into the 101st Airborne. Once I have Steve into the 101st, all the military bases, time lines of battles and places are historically accurate. I also revert back to Minnesota through out the book, to allow readers to find out how his family and loved ones deal with their separation, and fears of the unknown. Their story is as important as the soldiers who fought the war.
Who is the author “behind” the book?
My name is Gerald Feld. I have written a monthly column for our local newspaper for the past eight years, and will soon be engaged in writing the history of our church for our centennial celebration. My dream upon graduation from high school was to join the Army and become an auto mechanic. I became a mechanic in the Army, where I worked on many types of vehicles and enjoyed it immensely. Upon completion of my military service I began working on vehicles in my own garage, while working as a railroad mechanic for the Burlington Northern Railroad. Soon it became evident; I did not really like that type of work. As fortune has it, I was laid off from the railroad when they down sized, giving me the opportunity to look into other forms of employment. A friend of mine suggested I apply at a State Correctional Facility we have in St. Cloud. I did so and fell in love with the work. I retired from the facility in 2006 after 32 years.
Do you have any particular literary influences that have helped you develop in your genre, subject and style?
My continual studies of World War Two made me think a great American war novel was needed. A story that not only told about the hardships of combat, but the hardships of those our fighting men left behind. I have always enjoyed telling people about the war. So when I began to write the book, I simply wrote it as if I were telling the story to a friend. I had to write several term papers in my American History class in high school on World War Two. Each time my instructor Fr. Allen Speiser would comment on my style of writing the papers. He became a true friend, and helped grow my interest in the war, and inspired me to continue to study. Although he passed away several years ago, I still see him as one of my true mentors.
One of my other great interests is following the St. John’s football team from Collegeville, Minnesota. I have followed the Johnnies since I was five years old, it’s a fantastic tradition. I also love to travel, especially taking cruises.
What inspired you to write your book, and how long did it take you to finish it?
I have been interested in World War Two since I was a young child. While my dad’s friends would come over to talk and have a beer, I would sit and listen to their stories regarding their experiences in the war. It planted a seed inside of me to learn more and to discover all the hidden facts regarding every aspect of the war. So in 1978 I decided to write the great American War Novel. I would work on it from time to time, and then toss it back into my file cabinet. When I retired in 2006, my wife convinced me to finish the manuscript. So in all reality, it took me 30 years to complete the manuscript. The late German General Alfons Heck, was a great inspiration to me as we spoke about the war. He asked me to never forget, and attempt to pass on to others, what the war was all about.
Xlibris Publishing will return with Gerald Feld in Part 2.
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