Author - Marian Haley Beil

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Wise words for new authors
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Review: Church of the Adagio: Poems by Philip Dacey (Nigeria 1963–65)
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Gwyn Hyman Rubio (Costa Rica 1971–73) has new novel coming out
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Sage advice for writers revisited
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John Coyne (Ethiopia 1962–64) publishes Long Ago and Far Away
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Review: Lauren Greasewater’s War by Stephen Hirst (Liberia 1962-64)
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New Books by Peace Corps writers: April-June 2014
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Rich Schneider (Philippines 1969–71, 1974-77) publishes Living with the Pinatubo Aetas
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Knut Royce (Ethiopia 1962–64) & co-author release new edition of The Italian Letter
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Eloise Hanner publishes POSTED IN PARAGUAY with Peace Corps Writers
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Marty Ganzglass (Somalia 1966–68) publishes CANNONS FOR THE CAUSE with Peace Corps Writers
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Fran Hopkins Irwin and Will Irwin publish The Early Years of Peace Corps in Afghanistan with Peace Corps Writers
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Kay Gillies Dixon (Colombia 1962-64) publishes WANDERLUST SATISFIED with Peace Corps Writers
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Don Messerschmidt (Nepal 1963-65) Makes You An Offer You Can't Refuse
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Peace Corps Writers publishes Jon Thiem’s Letters from Ghana 1968–1970

Wise words for new authors

A couple of days ago Brooke Warner at Huffington Post posted an article listing mistakes new writers shouldn’t make. They are: 1. Believing what they want to hear. 2. Not taking advantage of every available digital platform. 3. Deciding that they don’t need a marketing campaign, or starting one too late. 4. Believing that more is better. 5. Going renegade. 6. Not doing enough research on who they’re publishing with. 7. Believing that “traditional” is better, no matter what. 8. Failing to get sample product. 9. Not hiring professionals. 10. Choosing a print run over print-on-demand (POD). NOW, go to “The 10 Biggest Mistakes New Authors Make” to read the whys.

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Review: Church of the Adagio: Poems by Philip Dacey (Nigeria 1963–65)

Church of the Adagio: Poems by Philip Dacey (Nigeria 1963-65) Rain Mountain Press $15.00 95 pages June 2014 Reviewed by Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala 1991-93) Reading Philip Dacey’s poems is like having a conversation with a funny, sophisticated, and insightful friend. You’re laughing, you’re nodding in appreciation, you’re saying, “A-ha. I never saw things that way, but-wow-you’re right.” And you don’t want to say goodbye anytime soon. If you pick up Dacey’s new collection of poems, I guarantee you will: 1. Laugh. At, for example, a poem about a llama who shows up in Dacey’s driveway. “I was all stammer and gawk and disbelief,” Dacey writes. When the llama ventures into the middle of the road, however, Dacey must act: . . . I saw the headline, “Llama killed by truck.” Dropping the rake, I raced to rescue him, who now stood frozen, straddling the centerline, looking this way and that-oh, too much . . .

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Gwyn Hyman Rubio (Costa Rica 1971–73) has new novel coming out

Gwyn Hyman Rubio’s newest novel will be published in October. Entitled Love & Ordinary Creatures. Gwyn’s website says this about the book: Love and Ordinary Creatures is told through the eyes of a cockatoo in love with his very human caretaker. Snatched in a net from his Australian homeland as a young parrot, Caruso has adapted to captivity and has learned the lessons of love from his previous owner, Theodore Pinter, who was obsessively fixated on his childhood sweetheart. Now in his new home with the beautiful and talented Clarissa, Caruso has found both love and happiness—until a handsome stranger arrives in town and sets his sights on Clarissa. Smart, passionate, and wildly inventive, Caruso strives to put his human rival in his place before he steals Clarissa away for good. Set in the early 1990s in the quaint seashore town of Ocracoke, North Carolina, Love and Ordinary Creatures is . . .

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Sage advice for writers revisited

I just came across an article that was published in May of 2004 on the our old website Peace Corps Writers that is worthy of republishing for all those contemplating — or are in the midst of — writing a book. — M • The Ticking by Bonnie Lee Black (Gabon 1996–98) • THERE IS a classic fiction-writing-workshop story that goes something like this: A man drove home from work, pulled into his driveway, and parked his car. As he opened his front door he called out, “Hi, Honey, I’m home!” Then he settled into his favorite chair, exhausted, to read the evening paper. “Sweetheart, I’m just putting a pie in the oven,” he heard his wife call out from the kitchen. “Dinner will be ready in about a half hour.” “Great,” said her husband, “I’m starving to death.” “So what?” you say? “Who cares?” You put the story down . . .

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John Coyne (Ethiopia 1962–64) publishes Long Ago and Far Away

Yes, our very own, recently retired editor has just published his latest novel — it’s number 13! Here’s what John has to say about his new book in his PRESS RELEASE: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE LONG AGO AND FAR AWAY By John Coyne Displaying the storytelling skill that has made him a seven-time bestselling author, John Coyne delivers a suspenseful, haunting and tender story about star-crossed lovers who first meet in their twenties and four decades later are reunited. The novel takes place on three continents, and involves the lives of four main characters. The plot pivots around the tragic death in 1973 of a young woman in Ethiopia. The outcome of a trial changes the lives of the four young people, leaving unresolved the question of whether it was an accident or murder. Long Ago and Far Away opens in Westchester, New York, in 2008, and through a series of . . .

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Review: Lauren Greasewater’s War by Stephen Hirst (Liberia 1962-64)

Lauren Greasewater’s War (novel) by Stephen Hirst (Liberia 1962–1964) Muuso Press 2013 238 pages $14.99 (paperback), $7.99 (Kindle) Reviewed by Darcy Meijer (Gabon 1982–84) The front cover of Lauren Greasewater’s War by Stephen Hirst is an Edward Curtis photo from 1907 depicting the full face of a Havasupai woman. From the first page until the dramatic finish, Hirst relates a gripping story that could well have occurred in 1970s Arizona within the Native American Havasupai community. Lauren Greasewater’s War comprises five parts: Cradle, Blood, Song, Shelter and War. The first four develop the themes of the novel — origin, family, spirituality and home, while the last part brings these together. In brief, New York lutenist Lauren Napier, adopted by a white family as an infant, learns her true parentage and travels to the Havasupai canyonlands in the Southwest to find out more. Strong-willed and driven by the need for senses . . .

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New Books by Peace Corps writers: April-June 2014

To purchase any of these books from Amazon.com, click on the book cover, the bold book title, or the format you would like — and Peace Corps Worldwide, an Amazon Associate, will receive a small remittance that will help support our annual writers awards. • The Dandy Vigilante (mystery) by Kevin Daley (Samoa 1986-89) Anaphora Literary Press 252 pages March 2014 $19.00 (paperback), $3.99 (Kindle) • Lauren Greasewater’s War: A Grand Canyon Novel (novel) by Stephen Hirst (Liberia 1962–64) Muuso Press 246 pages April 2014 $14.95 (paperback), $7.99 (Kindle) For more about the book (and how to get a free digital download) • When the Whistling Stopped (novel) by David J. Mather (Chile 1968–70) Peace Corps Writers 274 pages June 2014 $12.95 (paperback), $6.95 (Kindle) • Kilometer 99 (Peace Corps novel) by Tyler McMahon (El Salvador 1999–02) St. Martin’s Griffin 344 pages June 2014 $14.99 (paperback), $9.99 (Kindle) PCWriters review . . .

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Rich Schneider (Philippines 1969–71, 1974-77) publishes Living with the Pinatubo Aetas

After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in wildlife biology from Michigan State University in 1969, Rich Schneider volunteered for the Peace Corps, which had sounded like a life-altering opportunity – and he wasn’t ready for marriage and a career. As a Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) assigned to the Philippines, Rich lived in the remote mountain village of Villar from June 1969 through June 1971, and worked with Pinatubo Aetas, an indigenous people, to increase their rice yield. The Aetas lived in permanent dwellings on a government reservation each assigned about 0.6 hectare (1.5 acres) of land suitable for planting rice. They had given up slash-and-burn agriculture, and on this land started traditional rice farming. Rich’s assignment was to assist the Aetas increase their rice yield per hectare from 30 to 80 cavans (1 cavan = 50 kilograms) using the improved rice varieties and enhanced cultivation practices developed at the . . .

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Knut Royce (Ethiopia 1962–64) & co-author release new edition of The Italian Letter

The Huffington Post reports: More than a decade after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, veteran journalists Peter Eisner and Knut Royce are releasing a new [Kindle] edition of their groundbreaking book, The Italian Letter [first published in 2007]. More relevant than ever, The Italian Letter provides explosive, historic insights for a greater understanding of the Iraq War and how the United States got there. Here is a report by Royce on the hoax that helped launch the U.S. invasion and led to today’s disintegration of the country. Read Knut’s report at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/knut-royce/italian-letter-iraq-invasion_b_5574204.html The Italian Letter by Peter Eisner and Knut Royce Amazon Digital 288 print pages $5.95 (Kindle)

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Eloise Hanner publishes POSTED IN PARAGUAY with Peace Corps Writers

Posted in Paraguay is not the usual Peace Corps book — a first time voyage of discovery — because Eloise and Chuck Hanner had done it all before — twenty-five years before. That was back in 1971 when they left, newly married and newly graduated, for a Peace Corps assignment in Afghanistan. It had been a terrific experience and they swore at the time they would do it again — maybe when they were old and retired. But when they turned fifty (not old or retired) they found themselves bored with their stock-brokerage careers and in need of a new direction. Despite admonitions from Thomas Wolfe, who warned “you can’t go home again,” they decided to join the Peace Corps once more. Although this time they wanted to serve in a Spanish speaking country, and a way to use their business background. The Peace Corps recruiter had just the ticket: . . .

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Marty Ganzglass (Somalia 1966–68) publishes CANNONS FOR THE CAUSE with Peace Corps Writers

Marty writes: Cannons for the Cause is a novel about the early days of the American Revolution. It is a gripping story of friendships formed, families divided, first loves, and of loyalty, courage and patriotism. In the brutal winter of 1775-1776, sixteen year old Will Stoner is one of many teamsters hauling heavy cannons more than 300 miles from Ft. Ticonderoga in upstate New York to Cambridge, Massachusetts. The train of wagons and sleds struggles across the partially frozen Hudson River and through a blizzard in the steep Berkshire mountains, to bring the desperately needed artillery to General Washington, preparing to attack the British in Boston. Cannons for the Cause places Will in the midst of actual, but little known,  historical events — a race riot in Cambridge between the Marblehead Mariners, the first integrated unit of the Continental Army, and a militia of backwoods riflemen; and the stealthy night . . .

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Fran Hopkins Irwin and Will Irwin publish The Early Years of Peace Corps in Afghanistan with Peace Corps Writers

This month Frances Hopkins Irwin (Afghanistan 1964–67) and Will A. Irwin (Afghanistan 1966–67) published The Early Years of Peace Corps in Afghanistan: A Promising Time with Peace Corps Writers. Here’s what they say about their book: The Peace Corps in Afghanistan The first four years of Peace Corps in Afghanistan was a promising time. Nine Volunteers, perhaps the smallest Peace Corps program around the world, arrived in 1962. They were greeted with skepticism and all placed in Kabul. What skills could they contribute? Wouldn’t their presence cause trouble in this country bordering the Soviet Union? The Early Years tells how within a year the five teachers, three nurses, and a mechanic had demonstrated their skills, how they and the following Volunteers connected with the Afghan community through jazz, folk music, and basketball and used sawdust stoves to avoid paying for oil. By 1966, over 200 Peace Corps Volunteers were serving . . .

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Kay Gillies Dixon (Colombia 1962-64) publishes WANDERLUST SATISFIED with Peace Corps Writers

Wanderlust Satisfied is the story of Kay Gillies Dixon (Colombia 1962–64), one of the first Peace Corps Volunteers, and her  personal search through her two years of service, and how that experience changed everything about the rest of her life. Like so many Volunteers, she determined to follow her own ideals and dreams and unlearn the “Shoulds” and “Have-tos” she had been assigned by society. Kay was reared in a small town in western Pennsylvania, in the 1950s, during simpler times when a long distance telephone call was a big deal, and television sets displayed only three channels — all of them featuring stories about the Cold War, Nikita Khrushchev, and the Berlin Wall on the evening news. At the same time our country was caught in the struggle for basic civil rights for all peoples as Martin Luther King and his Southern Christian Leadership Conference worked to register voters . . .

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Don Messerschmidt (Nepal 1963-65) Makes You An Offer You Can't Refuse

• Bhutan: Going to the Dogs Trek and Festival Be assured, this new 2014 trip is not all trek. Between our arrival in Bhutan on March 29 and departure on April 12, there is a total of 6 days on a moderate mountain trek (highest elevation is something around 13,500 feet, over and down in one day). the trek is scheduled for early in the trip, in Tashigang District, in the far Northeast corner of the country. The rest of the trip is an eco-tour of Bhutan, through the hills and mountains on the “Royal Road” from east Bhutan west to the capital, Thimphu, and ending at Paro (the airport town). It includes a drive through some amazing forests, high and low; a brief visit to beautiful Bumthang and Punakha valleys, sight-seeing in Thimphu, a day-long hiking excursion to “The Tiger’s Nest” — the amazing cliffside Taktsang Monastery (near Paro), . . .

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Peace Corps Writers publishes Jon Thiem’s Letters from Ghana 1968–1970

Several years back, author/editor Jon Thiem mentioned to a young woman (with a Ph.D.) that in the late 1960s he had served in the Peace Corps in Ghana, West Africa. She thought he was talking about a United Nations Peace Keeping operation! Taken by surprise, he laughed and thanked her for the alternative biography she had bestowed on him. Then he told her about Peace Corps. The incident was what initially inspired him to compile this collection Letters from Ghana 1968-1970: A Peace Corps Chronicle A combination of historical forces in the 1960s induced tens of thousands of (mainly) young U.S. volunteers to live in countries other than their own and engage in humanitarian activities. The body of letters that resulted from this great Peace Corps diaspora is a rich yet neglected legacy. From August 1968 to June 1970, Thiem was a Peace Corps Volunteer in a village in the . . .

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