Sunday, January 25, 2015
As she slipped into the room I felt a part of me fuse into her presence. Her beauty immediately arrested me. At first glance she appeared Italian but by the end of the evening our delicate conversation revealed that all of her alluring beauty was from Argentina. Her name was Sonia. We became inseparable from that moment. She became my Sunny, a light to my very dark world.
After all these years of marriage I still don’t see what she saw in me. I was not refined and spiritual. I was not compassionate and flowing with a zeal for social justice. I was Type A, fiercely military bred, dark and quite lethal. Yet her love washed over me and brought security to my existence. She was air to me and I could offer her nothing but a fragmented soul almost destroyed by the horrors inflicted on my life during the Vietnam War.
In battle I was Captain David Eliot and I made a huge mistake in judgment that has forever haunted me. I’ve tried to control the memories. She has come to accept the ramifications of those memories over the years. Those haunting shadows come to me at the least expected times – night sweats, horrible dreams and a consuming darkness in broad daylight that almost makes me implode. Some people call it PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I simply call it dreams. For a while they had gone away, now they were back. This time they were worse because I was beginning to lose grip on what was a dream and what was reality. Just like an angel Sunny was there to help me through them - that made me love her more.
I loved her with everything that I had. Every time we made love I wanted her to feel me to the core of her being. I brought her to the end of herself and sent her over the edge of sanity every time. Her response to me was consuming, and the force of her love coming back to me was so overwhelming.
How could a man like me be so blessed to have a woman like her. The most precious sounds in my life had always been hearing her fever pitch to the point of no return, but on this particular night there was no soothing sound. There was a frantic gurgling. My arms were not lovingly around her waist drawing her to me. My hands were tightly choking her.
I recoiled in horror as she lay there gasping for air. I scooped her up sobbing. I was shaking uncontrollably. She wrapped her arms around me and softly said, “I love you. Your demons are my demons.” Then she kissed me. “David, will you go and see the priest now?” I made a vow to begin my therapy again.
Did your book require a lot of research? If so, what kind?
Yes, I had to do quite a lot - Phoenix, the CIA ‘s assassination program in Vietnam that led to Tet 658, The Argentine Secret Service that fought ‘the Dirty War’ and the Falklands War. This book is very realistic when it comes to war and military actions. It has content for mature audiences because of its gritty nature. Life is that way, its raw, its real and it’s not all rose-colored glasses. Dreamer is an excellent book that shows the struggles that those in the military have to deal with, as well as life with challenges.
What inspired you to write Dreamer?
My belief is that God can and does intervene in our lives. I wanted to write about how he would do that with soldiers. I wanted to tell a story about how God would offer redemption to warriors. I chose to portray God as a warrior. I know this thought is foreign to most religious readers but shouldn’t be. I took the lead character from the Bible character David, who like the characters in Dreamer was flawed but loved by God.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Dreamer is a book about failed warriors, who lost their way as soldiers and human beings, in the horror that was Vietnam. (That war is so far in people's rear view mirror, that we have forgotten how really bad it was.) These men made up a SOG (Special Operations Group) team whose mission was to carry out the CIA's Phoenix Program (the systematic assassination of suspected Viet Cong, (which was so successful it lead to Tet 68). The lead character, David, was the team leader. One of the team members betrayed the team and David is required to execute him, but he is stopped from carrying out the execution by an unseen but powerful force. His failure to do his duty lead to a horrific chain of events that ends with the team being captured, and tortured. At the moment that death is at hand, the team makes a pact – a covenant with God, that if he saves them they would aid each other no matter what or when for the rest of their lives. Afterwards, each man lives in the "darkness". Years later God comes to them and give them the chance to redeem themselves and stand in the "light of men" once again. But the path he chooses paralleled with death and destruction. Dreamer is about redemption. God as a warrior gives grace and the chance for redemption to other warriors.
What was the toughest criticism given to you? What was the biggest compliment?
My first reviewer said there was too much sex in the book. She seemed to think I was pre-occupied with the sexual relationships of the characters. I took her comments to heart and toned it down in a rewrite.
The biggest compliment was that one reader said he was inspired.
About the Author:
Philip Davidson is a former Vietnam veteran. He was awarded the Bronze Star, Combat Infantry Badge and Vietnamese Jump Wings. He was also a Kit Carson Scout. He was the author of the first SWAT Tactical Training Manual that has been used to train police across the country and served on President Reagan's Veteran's Affairs Council.
His novel Dreamer is a military thriller and historical fiction about various wars and touches on the controversial subject of PTSD. Davidson is currently a Civil Rights Attorney residing in Nashville, TN.
a Rafflecopter giveaway