Editor’s note: Enjoy this Q&A with SOFREP author of Sully’s Squad, Kevin Wilson. The book will be released on May 25, 2020 through Amazon and Apple. The main characters of Sully’s Squad are rooted locally to upstate New York and the novel is partially based and dedicated to a local war hero. Sully’s Squad is not only a WWII epic, but also a moving coming-of-age tale, told through the eyes of a fifteen-year-old Arty, who lies about his age to enlist. The story is poignant and sensitive in terms of describing battlefield deaths, shellshock and the emotions that surround them along with the impact on those families back home.
Please tell the SOFREP audience a little about yourself
I am a married father of three adult children and reside in Upstate New York. My current career is in the Healthcare Industry (did not quit my daytime job). I enjoy sports, try to exercise regularly, and am proud of being an author. I hope that you enjoy reading Sully’s Squad!
What was your inspiration for writing Sully’s Squad?
I was inspired by those who lived during the early part of the twentieth century. Within my family of origin were my late uncle Salvatore “Sullivan” Fringi and his mother Laura (my grandmother). As I learned more about the impact of WWII on each of them I wanted to document this primarily for my kids and their families. Initially, the generational impact of war alone onto my family, an Italian family’s oldest son, killed in action in their homeland.
I talked to men who served with my uncle and began to learn more about him as a man and a soldier. Finally, I met an author. She asked, “Everyone has a story what’s yours”? Following my reply, she responded, “You should write about it.” I started the first draft of Sully’s Squad a month later.
What was the process like writing your first book?
Writing is a humbling experience. You need to be disciplined, thick-skinned, and persistent in order to complete a novel. My business writing experience consists primarily of summaries, reports, plans, and email communication. Most of the details contain facts with numbers sprinkled throughout. Definitely a “tell me” vs “show me” style.
My transition from business writing to a novel was an adjustment I initially took for granted. I was naïve as to how much work and self-learning was involved. Unlike business writing, a novel is the opposite, show the reader by images and let the reader come to a decision, compared to business writing which tells the reader of a decision. Therefore, a “show me” vs “tell me” style.
Finally, if you are serious always listen to your editor. If they are a published author and you are not, why wouldn’t you listen to them?
Do you plan to write additional books to make this a series?
Yes, I am working on the second in the Sully’s Squad series and I am very excited about the partnership with Sofrep. This partnership will allow me to refocus on writing and let the experts handle promotions and expansion into other media.
What do you hope that readers primarily take away from reading Sully’s Squad?
Just that it is a novel that families can read together. With the detailed imagery and action, I am hoping to grab the attention of the reader. I received a number of emails from parents, who after attending an author event, spoke favorably about their experience of reading Sully’s Squad with their children. An upstate New York school system is using Sully’s Squad within their history curriculum for 8th and 9th grade. Prior to the COVID-19, I was also in communication with two other schools evaluating Sully’s Squad for their curriculum.
I prefer the reader to come up with their own takeaways based on their own life experiences. I am hoping the reader can relate to one or more of the characters, a particular scene or two and enjoy the main characters coming of age.