Sometimes the best reviews of my books aren’t reviews at all, but mere acknowledgments that somehow, someway, I changed someone’s life. Maybe just a little, but at least for the better.

I got an email recently from a gentleman—I’ll call him Alf (not his real name)—who had signed up for my newsletters. I gotta tell ya, what he wrote made me feel better than if I’d won a Pulitzer Prize. (Well, that’s an exaggeration, since I’ve never won a Pulitzer–and never will–so have no idea how that might feel. But you get my drift.)

Here’s a transcription of what Alf wrote me (I’ve edited it a bit to make it read smoothly):

“I have read the series WHEN HEROES FLEW. The three books in the series got me reading. I am 88 years old and had never read a book cover to cover. I got started and couldn’t put the books down. Thanks for giving me so much pleasure. I always thought reading was wasted time unless you wanted to learn how to do something.”

I wrote Alf back and told him I was glad I got him started reading “cover to cover.”  I explained that reading fiction can take you so many different places, plant you in so many different times, and allow you to meet so many different people you might otherwise never have had the opportunity to know.  And yes, I said, even reading fiction can lead to learning.

Anyhow, Alf warmed my heart with his note. Five-star reviews are great. But missives saying I opened new horizons for someone are even better.


  1. Monroe Bryant on June 20, 2023 at 5:38 pm

    I’m like Alf, but only 84 but a voracious reader. Your series, When Heroes Flew, is one of the finest most entertaining books I have ever read. Please tell me that your are continuing the series. Loved the ending of “The Roof of The World” but was cursing you for the supposed ending. Cried a lot too. Please, please, please keep that series coming. God bless you for sharing, even though fiction, the lives of our men and women in WW2.

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