Today, Feathered Quill reviewer Amy Lignor is talking with John Henry Hardy, author of When Brothers Meet
FQ: This story is a recipe that includes everything from thrills to emotional heartache. Where did this idea first come from? Did it have anything to do with the many years you served in the Marines?
HARDY: Yes, this have everything do with my service in the Marine Corps, an organization that makes its members acutely aware of world events that relate to the security of the United States. Most of the major wars fought by mankind from Genghis Khan, the Roman Empire, World Wars I and II, Vietnam, Iraq etc. etc. were precipitated by countries ruled by dictators. China is ruled by a virtual dictator, who has usurped the human rights of its citizens, and its actions in the South China may be another prelude to war. There it has usurped control of waters and islands that have been claimed by other countries for centuries, and is doing so by a show of military force. The reason for this intrusion is the billions of gallons of oil lying beneath the waters of that sea. I wrote this book to make Americans aware of what is actually going on there. As Dr. Kent Moores wrote in his book, The Great Game, "He who controls oil controls the world." That in my opinion is China's goal - to one day control the world.
As for the heartaches, while being absent from home, well I missed so many of my children's birthdays that I lost count of them.
FQ: When you first began to write, it was while working as a Public Affairs Officer for the Marine Corp., was it not? When did you decide that writing was most definitely the career path you wished to follow?
HARDY: I wrote a book when I was 18 years old, but it was never published. I fell in love and life got in the way. But hundreds of articles I wrote were published in newspapers and magazines around the country when I became a Public Affairs Officer.
FQ: Can you share with readers one of the most interesting experiences you have had throughout your military career? And, as well, have you had any fan experiences – emails and such – that have stuck with you throughout your years as a writer?
HARDY: I had a lot of amusing and not so amusing experiences during my career, but the one I remember the most vividly was when I was a platoon commander with the 4th Engineer Support Battalion. We had a get together for a Staff Sergeant who was leaving his wife and two children and heading for Vietnam in what I remember as being April 1968. In May 1968, we attended his funeral. He was an excellent noncommissioned officer, and had laid out a protective mine field around a military installation somewhere in Nam. As he was inspecting his work, he somehow tripped and fell on one of his antipersonnel mines. It was a grim reminder that you can get killed in a lot of different ways in a war.
FQ: Having your background, and with the world as it is today, can you share your personal views on how we could perhaps make this country better and/or safer for its citizens?
HARDY: What we have right now in the White House is making our country better and safer. Unlike another administration, that roamed the world, bowing to princes or kings, apologizing to the world for America's world-saving military actions, and kissing everyone's ass, we now have a president who wanders the globe kicking ass. I don't care what he Tweets, says or has done in the past. He is the strong leader this country needs right now, particularly fixing the $800 billion dollar trade deficit with China (they became a world power on American money), and the $70 billion dollar trade short fall with Mexico and Canada.
I also believe in an armed citizenry. This country was born on the strength of armed patriots, which I view as a last line of defense for this country. When I was fourteen, our family lived in an isolated location in New Jersey. One day while my mother and father were at work I was home alone with my sixteen year old sister and her girlfriend. We had no phone-no way to call for help in an emergency. Our dogs started barking and I spotted two men crawling through the knee-high cornfield surrounding our house. I got my father's double barreled shot gun and fired a shot above their heads-and that is when I learned the necessity of being an armed citizen. It is the only defense you have when you are alone-the police can't be everywhere they're needed!
FQ: Noting that your book is set in the year 2041, is writing in other realms something that you may wish to do one day? Such as, would you like to try your hand at another fiction or non-fiction genre in the future?
HARDY: I have already written a saga of the Vietnam War, Whisper In My Ear (three volumes), which is a tale based on the historical facts of the war. I also wrote a book called The Place Where the Giant Fell, a story about racial discrimination in pre-statehood Arizona, which is also historically correct. Then I wrote a humorous book entitled The Day God Played Baseball, a story about a little league team that lies and cheats to win baseball games-until it runs into a mysterious and angelic young pitcher who teaches a small town that good can triumph over evil.
FQ: Do you have your own personal favorites when it comes to authors and genres? Who would that/those be, and what about their work appeals to you?
HARDY: I am a Civil War buff and loved Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind. To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee is another of my favorites. Both novels portrayed strong women. I like novels where the human spirt triumphs over adversity, and good overcomes evil.
FQ: Can you tell readers about any future projects you have on the horizon that we should be watching for?
HARDY: I am currently working on a book - a tale - of aliens from another world who choose to settle on Earth that I call The Phantom Effect. Their sun is dying and they are very much like the human race that sees them as a threat; rumors abound about them taking over the earth and enslaving the world. Harpie Colcek, a reporter for the Rocky Mountain Times, discovers they are a peace loving race, highly intelligent, and they have the cures for many of earth's most horrifying diseases. But the FBI and the CIA view their presence as a threat and believe they are really agents from other countries that are planting spies and saboteurs in the United States.
FQ: It has to be asked...in your book you have a female President. Do you believe that perhaps a woman should be sitting in the Oval Office once day, if she is qualified and the correct person for the job?
HARDY: You can bet I believe that a woman will one day be POTUS. I have five daughters and a step daughter. I learned how strong, smart, and merciful women can be growing up with a strong mother and father, and being taught by nuns in a Catholic school setting-they did a lot more than the priests did! There are also many strong women in the military services. I would certainly vote for a woman to be president who was more or as qualified as a man-but not one who is a lying cheat. We already have enough men like that in public office.
FQ: In conclusion, if you could have dinner with one person, whether this is a historical figure, writer, etc., who would that be and what question would you love to ask them?
HARDY: My hero is Abraham Lincoln, a man who rose from poverty to the highest office in the land, and was married to a mentally ill woman; yet he managed to be perhaps our greatest president. I want to know how he dealt with the deaths of 600,000 men and women (yes a few women served in union combat units disguised as men) who were casualties of that war.
To learn more about When Brothers Meet please read the review.