Welcome back to THE WRITER’S LOUNGE! Our guest today is a military veteran (salutes going up!), that has written hundreds of newspaper bylines, and has over 20 years of writing experience, so let’s give him a big welcome! But first – Our opening musical selection, hand-picked by our guest. . .
Soldier Hard, Redcon-1 Music & Boone Cutler ~ “Stolen Valor”
THE WRITER’S LOUNGE PRESENTS:
GARRETT W. POMICHTER
WRITER ~ AUTHOR ~ VETERAN
F. Kenneth/W.L: I always begin with the same request, so go ahead and tell us a little about yourself – Any kids, etc?
Garrett: I have 5 sons and 3 step-children — 8 in all. All but 2 are grown and I am very proud of the young people they have become. The younger are fine children; I’m certain they’re also destined for great things. I can also boast 1 granddaughter of 2, and a “coming soon” grandson, both courtesy of my eldest boy and his lovely wife.
F. Kenneth/W.L: Wow! 8! Talking about having your hands full! And grandkids!? I never would’ve guessed! Congrats! You graduated from Florida Air Academy, is that a flight school? Are you a pilot?
Garrett: Florida Air Academy is a preparatory high school that was, at that time, centered on a US Air Force Jr. ROTC program, as well as flight training. I am not a private pilot, but I did fly in school, and achieved my solo pilot wings before graduation.
F. Kenneth/W.L: I love flying – thought about going for a pilot’s license a couple times, just never followed through, but it’s still on my “bucket list”.
So you were Army Infantry, nice – Thank you, we appreciate your service. I’m prior Air Force (Field/Troop Support) – What kind of deployments were you a part of?
Garrett: I deployed to the Sinai, Egypt from 1991 until 1992 with the 4/87 Inf. as a contingent from the 25th I.D. out of Schofield Barracks, HI. (Hooah! Catamounts) It was, as was my entire service tour, something for which I am very proud and very grateful. Much of my unit remains friends to this day.
F. Kenneth/W.L: I would’ve loved an opportunity to see Egypt! That one doesn’t happen too often. I understand you’ve passed the torch to your sons and daughter, now. Your daughter is Air Force Reserves flight crewmember serving in Kuwait, and one son is Marine Infantry, and the other Army M.P – Looks like you guys just about have all branches locked down! A true military family!
You attended Florida Eastern State College, what was your major?
Garrett: I received an Associates-in-Arts Degree and my primary focus was Journalism and Media Communication.
F. Kenneth/W.L: Excellent fields. This is interesting; you’ve been featured in anthologies for over 20yrs – Why go with anthologies instead of just writing and publishing a book of your poetry?
Garrett: As difficult as it is for many young writers to imagine, 25 years ago there wasn’t mush of an indie author market, and it was very difficult to be noticed—particularly as a young poet, by a publishing firm. Publishing in Anthologies was still competitive, but gave young writers a chance to get their work out to readers.
F. Kenneth/W.L: You definitely have a valid point there—I’m not even sure if there was a way to self-publish. I believe that’s about the time Vanity Presses and publishing houses began to rise, but don’t quote me on that.
What other factors attracted you to having your work featured in an anthology?
Garrett: I had poems that were short ways of expressing myself, and I wanted to get them to readers. In those days, anthologies were a first step on the path to writing for distribution. It was something I treasure as a beginning.
F. Kenneth/W.L: Yeah, writers think its hard today, but 25 years ago, you really had “hit the pavement hard” as they say! So you’ve written approximately 400 newspaper bylines!? Wow! What kind of articles did you write for The Hometown News?
Garrett: I covered a geographical news beat, so I was able to write about local and state politics, police beats, as well as community events and local accomplishments. It was a wide variety of topics and was very exciting.
F. Kenneth/W.L: You can definitely cover a vast range of stories with those topics. You can also create and build an audience better because it’s local news and events, and something readers can relate to and connect with.
You know a thing or two about politics and one of your first books, “Mapping the Road Less Traveled”, was about strategies to successful campaigning – Have you ever ran for any offices or thought about it?
Garrett: I have not run myself. I began as an intern for a state senate candidate, and began to work for many local and state candidates in our local community. As a writer, I was fascinated by the process and by how little there was to help young people learn the real “nuts-and-bolts” of the process.
F. Kenneth/W.L: I think if the game of politics wasn’t as complicated as it seems; and if people were able to understand the “nuts and bolts” of it, they’ll be more trusting of politicians and state and federal governments and officials as well.
The greater portion of your writing career has been within the non-fiction arena, but you recently published a fiction work – Was it difficult jumping from non-fiction writing to fiction?
Garret: It was. As a journalist it is all “facts and simplicity,” and as a technical writer, it is all about process. In fiction, I had to work from the development of a world and characters to the placement of elements within the story structure. It was very different, but incredibly rewarding.
F. Kenneth/W.L: I’m somewhat the opposite. I’ve spent the majority of my writing career in the fiction arena. It wasn’t until a few years ago when I began Freelance writing, that I also began dabbing into the non-fiction arena, despite the fact that freelance writing is a combination of fiction and non-fiction work, it just depends the clients. It’s been an adjustment, but I’m also planning a non-fiction work very soon.
When I read your bio and saw how you described “Lucky”, I instantly thought about movies like The Untouchables, Hoodlum, The Last Man Standing – Tell everyone else what “Lucky” is about.
Garrett: It began as a project to combine my love for the genre with a desire I had to tell the story of a warfighter coming home. I really enjoy noir films, in particular as you mentioned above as well as classics such as “The Big Sleep,” or the Bogart hit, “The Maltese Falcon.” There 2 dimensional stories in which to escape, and root for your favorite characters, not looking to solve the worlds problems. Combine that with a chance to talk about the pitfalls that face soldiers, sailors, Airmen and Marines coming home in a non-threatening, entertaining way, and I was hooked.
F. Kenneth/W.L: Was it difficult writing a period piece like “Lucky”? Did you have to research a great deal to recreate the setting and verbiage for that time period, or did it come natural to you?
Garrett: It was daunting to get things right, in particular, gender roles that were so different than today, and writing a genuine homogeneous cast of characters. Our modern world has so much more in terms of language, and cultural diversity, and it is hard to imagine a world so different. The research was enjoyable, though. I watched hours of Bogart and Bacall. Somebody’s got to do it.
F. Kenneth/W.L: Lol! I could imagine some of the legwork, but then again, your research entailed watching great classics as you’ve mentioned. In your bio, you mentioned “Lucky” as being “close to heart” and in the works for quite some time – How long did it take you to write “Lucky”?
Garrett: It took about 2 years to write and adapt “Lucky.” It exists as both a novella and a screenplay. I’m working on adapting it to graphic novel as well. I enjoy the challenge.
F. Kenneth/W.L: Wow. Yeah, the ones that’s close to us are like that. I feel the same way about my Sci-fi, “Aftermath: A Saga Begins” – I’m currently writing the sequel, “Aftermath II: Relentless Intentions”, but have an entire series planned. So will there be a sequel to “Lucky”?
Garrett: Yes. Originally, this was to me a “one-off.” But I have received e-mails, inquiries and requests for more, so I am writing “Lot 28” now, and it is a great chance to combine genre’s again. Locked on a movie set, now hard-boiled “Lucky” is put into a classic closed bottle Mystery like “Clue,” “Murder on the Orient Express,” or “And Then There Were None.”
F. Kenneth/W.L: Sounds pretty interesting, so where can readers find “Lucky”?
Garrett: Lucky is available at online stores, amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com and in the iTunes Store for iBooks. Readers can find “Lucky” in paperback, available again at the above venues as well as at Books-A-Million and through Createspace.com. (It is also available from iTunes and Amazon in Audio Book).
F. Kenneth/W.L: It’s been a real pleasure having Garrett W. Pomichter join us at. . .THE WRITER’S LOUNGE today – You’re always welcomed here! Thanks again for your service to our country.
More from our military vets. . .
Stephen Hobbs ft. Soldier Hard ~ “Can’t Back Down”
COMING UP AT. . .THE WRITER’S LOUNGE
Charles Yallowitz ~ Apr. 3rd
Jason Davis ~ Apr. 10th
Lorene Stunson ~ Apr. 17th
Susan Parker Rosen ~ Apr. 24th