30/04/2013
Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Get started writing modern military history

bbc6df6b-c40f-4e90-bf25-6aa11b8fad8f

Modern military non-fiction can seem to be a daunting topic for writers to break into, so how do you find the stories, generate the leads and get the interviews with soldiers to give your book a fighting chance? Learn from the expert as we ask bestselling author Damien Lewis, whose latest book Zero Six Bravo is out now, to share his secrets:

 

• Read the newspapers and pay particular attention to military stories, especially those which concern high gallantry awards (medals). It is amazing how many great stories hit the press but no author ever follows up on them. Contact the soldier in question and ask if he’s ever thought of writing his story as a book. Most won’t have.

• Register with the Society of Authors on their author profile web pages as an author who specialises or has a particular interest in military stories – that will draw people in.

• Set up your own website – see mine: www.damienlewis.com – and think of this as a stall whereby you lay out you wares to potential fellow authors/co-authors or sources of stories. Provide a ‘contact author’ function, and make it clear that you’re keen to hear from people with potential military stories. Make it clear you’ll treat their contact in confidence.

• Advertise – in magazines like Soldier Magazine (200,000 circulation; key audience). For what is a small amount of outlay you will get very lively responses if you do.

• Get coverage in your local (or national) press as to the kind of stories you’re looking for from local veterans.

• Maintain your network. Word of mouth is always the best means. Keep your list of military contacts in regular contact via emails and your website as to what you are seeking story-wise and your availability to tell such stories.
 

 

Read Damien's fascinating insight into his writing process and the practicalities of getting military non-fiction into print in the May issue of Writing Magazine, available as an app and PC download and as a print magazine.

 

Damien's latest book, Zero Six Bravo: 60 Special Forces, 100,000 Enemy. The Explosive True Story, is out now

Back to "Biography and life writing" Category

30/04/2013 Share this story   Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Recent Updates

Coffee break writing exercise: Trains

Use a memorable railway experience to set a brand new piece of writing on track ...


Coffee break writing exercise: Celebrations

Think about the good times in this week's creative writing exercise – then write a version where it all goes ...


Joanne Harris on writing

December's star interviewee shares her thoughts on reading, writing and social media in our online exclusive ...


Coffee break exercise: Different versions

Write two different versions of a story in our latest creative writing exercise ...


Other Articles

How to tell a story: Top tips from Taffy Thomas

Advice on the art of telling a good story from the UK's foremost traditional storyteller ...


How to write a children's story: Ian Beck

Top tips on how to write a children's story from Ian Beck, will illustrate the winning story in Amazon's A ...


Coffee break writing exercise: Halloween

Let your pen cast a spell in our seasonally spooky coffee break creative writing workout ...


Under the Microscope extra: Reincarnation

Read our suggested rewrite of a reader's historical thriller intro ...