Questions & Answers
Around The Next Bend

Send me note if you have any questions/comments about AROUND THE NEXT BEND.

JohnT, I’ve just started reading AROUND THE NEXT BEND, but Miller Townson seems really passive.  I have no respect for passive guys.  Why should I keep reading?
Texas Alpha Male


Dear TAM, You’re using the wrong term.  Miller isn’t passive; he’s laidback and there’s a huge difference.  Townson’s subordinate, Sergeant Podzielski, has been killing enemy soldiers since World War II.  Take note of how he regards Miller during their time together in Vietnam and Germany.  Pod would have no respect for a passive officer.  Initially, he has no respect for laidback Miller, but his opinion changes when Miller is wounded saving his life.  And he recognizes that when Miller is threatened, he’s lethal.

Dr Turman, I was looking forward to a good historical fiction novel, but I was jarred by the sex scenes in your book.  However, your war scenes are vivid and gripping even if a couple Civil War facts are not completely accurate.  I wish you luck with your novels.
Civil War Scholar.  


Dear CWS, Thank you so much for your historical observations.  I have made corrections in the Civil War sections.  I trust you noticed that the sex scenes are all in the present time.  As the sexual revolution sweeps America, Miller gropes his way to sexual awareness as all of us Baby Boomers were forced to do.  He doesn’t get it entirely right.

JohnT, Miller comes across as racially insensitive when he joins the black GIs in the library who are discussing Soul On Ice. Miller doesn’t acknowledge how bleak the situation was for blacks in the 1970s.
An African-American


DEAR AAA, You’re right. Miller doesn’t realize that blacks were still struggling for equality in the 1970s. Miller figures, I’m not prejudiced so don’t blame me if other whites are. That’s naïve. Much later, after he retires, Miller becomes good friends with an African-American former Vietnam helicopter pilot who makes him understand. Keep reading. Miller matures as far as racial sensitivity goes and in other ways.

John, I can’t help but notice similarities in your life and Miller’s.  How many of the incidents in your novel happened to you?
An Intrigued Observer


Dear AIO, many people have asked me this question.  The prologue episode, Miller and wife in costume, really happened to me while I was stationed on the Czech border.  Unfortunately, I didn’t recover with a boffo waltz.  For one thing, I was never strong enough to hold up a 200 pound plus woman with one hand.

Most of the other incidents come from the fertile (feverish?) mind of your author.  With regard to the sex scenes, they arise straight out of my imagination.  One exception, -Miller taking Denise high up the side of a mountain in the Bavarian Alps.  That didn’t happen with my first wife, but it did happen.  As bad as the costume scene was for me, the episode with a lovely girlfriend, freshly baked bread, soft cheese, and “Kalterer See Auslese” red wine was that wonderful and much more.

John, two questions. What made you decide to write AROUND? I also noticed you use third person limited as a point of view. Isn’t that a big constraint for an author?
An Aspiring Writer


Dear AAW. To answer your first question, I started out doing genealogical research on some interesting ancestors. Eventually, I realized that maybe ten or twenty people in the world might be interested in my findings. Telling people who aren’t related to you about your ancestors for more than a minute or two is like subjecting people to endless photos of your latest vacation. In other words, it’s excruciating for them so I turned to fiction where I could free myself from facts.

To your second question, I found myself obsessed with what I couldn’t find out as much as by what I could. For example, great grandfather, Confederate Colonel Reed’s first Big House was burned down by Sherman’s troops. He built another home after the war. I have photographs and a water color by Wilbur Kurtz of the second home. What did the first home look like? I’ll never know and I really want to know. As a reader, you see Miller’s world through his eyes. There are some things you may never know. However, if I have crafted this book properly, you may “see” things that Miller misses.

Readers, please continue to challenge me with your questions.


Copyright © 2020 Dr John Turman