Robert M. Pacholik
Ms. April Butcher, Director 3/24/2015
“Authors on the Move” Selection Committee
Sacramento Library Foundation
Sacramento, CA. 95814
Dear Ms. Butcher:
My letter today is sent to pose a question, ask for your advice, and introduce myself as a writer interested in participating in your 2016 “Authors On The Move” gala next year.
By all measures of time, I seemed to have missed the boat for the 2015 program, but not to worry since my books and writing have only recently started to build steam in distribution, favorable reviews, and awards for the caliber of my work.
In short then, the question is this: “How does one get selected, what criterion makes one eligible to participate, and as an older “newby”, would your group be interested in what I do?” (Long winded, aren’t I?).
Rather than beat around the bush, I have produced a really fine “hybrid” short-story collection entitled, “NIGHT FLARES: Six Tales of the Vietnam War”. The book itself combines six powerful extended-length fiction stories together with a non-fiction Prelude, that maps out the era, the politics, the social upheaval, the confused foreign policy, and the personal struggles of those drawn into the war, both at home and abroad.
A second non-fiction feature of the book, Aftermath, is a detailed look at every major event, battle, personality, strategy, and result of US involvement in an Asian guerilla war during the period 1964-1975.
Why is any of this of interest to you and your Foundation? I photographed and covered the war for two years (1968-1969) as a combat-photographer and military journalist, who witnessed every event mentioned in each of the six stories. What came out of that experience were 18 stories that I whittled down to six, and revised for nearly eight years. Every story in this volume is the gritty, intense, personal tale of hardship, courage, terror, and dedicated service to this great nation during a tormented social, political, and confused military era.
No one has told the story of those men who fought, suffered, were wounded or died, or perhaps came home to derision, scorn, isolation, and anguish that many heaped on them. Night Flares tells their story.
Jill Stockinger, a Branch Supervisor in the Rancho Cordova Branch of the Sacramento Public Library, was so moved by NIGHT FLARES that she insisted we schedule a “Meet the Author” program in May 2015, along with my participation in the Local Author’s Book Festival in April 2015, and a series of “Meet the Author” programs in many of your 31 Branches throughout June, July, August, and maybe even September of 2015.
Since starting on NIGHT FLARES, I have produced and printed a fictional action-adventure novel set in the Caribbean, where an American offshore banker tangles with a ruthless gun-runner who wants to kill him and take control of his $650 million ‘plaque bank’. CRAB LOUIE, has the undercurrent of a American-born British Royal Marine who fought and was wounded in the Falkland Islands war of 1983.
Here too, many of the elements of men struggling to maintain their lives in aftermath, play out in a fun-filled adventure with love affairs, multiple sleazy evil villains, gunfights, explosions, even an intense firefight on a championship-level golf course on Antigua, leading to an intriguing sea chase in the North Atlantic.
The Military Writer’s Society of America awarded The Bronze Medal to NIGHT FLARES, and an Honorable Mention to CRAB LOUIE during two successive years, “...for excellence in writing and storytelling.”
Well, these two books are the work template for CRAB LOUIE DEUX, book two of Jonathan and Elaine’s island adventures.
And a murder mystery is already in progress, set in Saigon at the beginning of the Tet Offensive of 1968.
I am working on a revised version of, “India as Advocate: The Role of a Non-Aligned State in the Settlement of the Korean War”, an update of my 272 page Master’s degree thesis from California State University, Sacramento. The thesis is often cited in Korean political and historical textbooks.
My own personal background in Sacramento goes back to 1970 when I began work as a print news reporter for ten years on newspapers including The Sacramento Bee. I also finished a BA together with an MA during that time period.
My second career blossomed in 1980 when I married the love of my life, and spent the next 29 years as a Registered Investment Advisor in Investment Securities for firms including Merrill Lynch, Sacramento; and Dean Witter Reynolds; and Private ledger Financial Services.
The final chapter of my work life was that of a Securities Exam Trainer and Instructor, and an Adjunct Faculty Member (in US History: 1945 to the Present; and The Presidency/Political Science) at private and public universities including The University of Phoenix, Sacramento, and California State University, Sacramento, for 15 years.
Thus, and finally, I would be honored to be selected to participate in the “Authors On The Move” program, since now retired, I continue to scribble away on books and stories each day.
I know that my candidacy to be invited is a ‘longshot’, but as the rest of my life has been that of ‘late bloomer’ who gets to the finish line in the closing seconds at Churchill Downs, I will do my best to produce work that brings great credit to The Sacramento Library Foundation’s gala literary event of the year.
Thank you in advance for reading this letter, and for careful review of my credentials. I have been writing for more than 50 years and never tire of another library book that whisks me away to another time, another place, different people and events, that enrich me, and all who read what I write.
Very Truly Yours,
Robert M. Pacholik
Author, NIGHT FLARES, and CRAB LOUIE
cell phone: 916 813 5818
Awards and Recognition
- NIGHT FLARES: Six Tales of the Vietnam War; Bronze Medal Winner, Military Writer's Society of America, 2015. CRAB LOUIE: An Island Tale of Greed, Lust, and maybe Luv; Honorable Mention, Military Writer's Society of America, 2014.
- NIGHT FLARES: Finalist in National Self-Publishing Trifecta 8/13/16 Robert M. Pacholik, author of NIGHT FLARES: Six Tales of the Vietnam War, received word his Bronze Medal winning short-story collection is among the finalists in three separate national Self-Publishing Book competitions. Pacholik, who writes military action-adventure and military history fiction, was notified that his prize-winning hybrid story collection is in the final running for the: 2017 Independent Publisher Book Awards, The 2017 eLIT Book Awards, and the 24th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Award. The 21st annual, Independent Publisher Book Award (IPPY) draws publishers and writers from around the world who compete in five-dozen categories for Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medals. The IPPY is widely recognized in global book shows, library and indie bookstore distribution, and national media outlets.
- NIGHT FLARES: Six Tales of the Vietnam War; wins 2017 Silver Medal Winner for Short Story Fiction; August 2017; as E-Lit Award, Independent Digital Publisher's Association, New York.