Chords of War by Christopher Meeks and Sam Gonzalez Jr.
Publisher: White Whisker Books (Sept 30, 2017)
Category: Military Fiction, Literary Fiction, Music Fiction
Tour dates: Oct-Nov, 2017
Available in Print & ebook, 275 pages
The Chords of War is the tale of punk rock teenager Max Rivera from Florida, who seeks purpose as he tries to understand why his life always teeters between music and mayhem. After he’s kicked out of his band on tour, he joins the Army to change his life.
It’s after 9/11, and he finds himself under fire in Iraq, part of the surge in Baquabah. In order to deal with his teen angst and raging hormones among daily patrols, coordinated battles, and women fighting alongside him, Max creates a new band with soldiers. Will Max and his friends survive? How did he get to this point in his life?
The novel was inspired by the true-life Iraq adventures of Samuel Gonzalez, Jr. His life, and this book, reflects the story of a punk rocker who, after being kicked out of his Florida band, joins the Army and experiences the surge in Iraq in 2007.
Rutgers University professor Peter Molin, who teaches contemporary war fiction, has read an advanced copy of the novel. He writes, “The Chords of War breaks clean of Vietnam and World War II war-writing traditions by incisively portraying the war experience of millennial-era men and women agonizingly stalled between adolescence and adulthood.”
Advance Praise for Chords Of War
“The Chords of War breaks clean of Vietnam and World War II war-writing traditions by incisively portraying the war experience of millennial-era men and women agonizingly stalled between adolescence and adulthood.”- Peter Molin, Rutgers University Professor of Contemporary War Fiction
“Not your father’s or grandfather’s war novel! The Chords of War, about a young rock’n’roller who only thinks he is leaving music behind when he joins the Army to fight in Iraq, is realistically and movingly true to the voice, thought, and emotions of twenty-first century American soldiers on deployment. It invites comparison with novels such as Matthew J. Hefti’s A Hard and Heavy Thing, Brandon Caro’s Old Silk Road, and Maximilian Uriarte’s The White Donkey and memoirs such as Michael Anthony’s Civilianized. The Chords of War breaks clean of Vietnam and World War II war-writing traditions by incisively portraying the war experience of millennial-era men and women agonizingly stalled between adolescence and adulthood.”-Lt. Col. (Retired) Peter Molin, US Army, Editor of Time Now: The Wars in Iraqand Afghanistan in Art, Film, and Literature,and Afghanistan veteran 2008–2009
“In a meaningless war, the soldier must find meaning from within – this is the crux and conflict of the Chords of War, a must-read contemporary war novel by Christopher Meeks and Samuel Gonzalez, Jr., inspired by the real-life story of Gonzalez. An ex-rocker, Max, enlists as a military policeman in the Army after a series of bad decisions cause him to reconsider his life. Music comforts and guides him as a millennial taking his turn on stage in the forever war. But the overture of his former life does little to prepare Max for the melee of modern war: the forte-piano highs and lows, the crash of life and death stakes. A very compelling coming-of-age story representative of many from Generation Y who have answered the call-to-arms to defend our nation.”- Dario DiBattista, Editor of Retire the Colors: Veterans and Civilians on Iraq and Afghanistan
Praise for Christopher Meeks
“It is a given, now, that Christopher Meeks is a master craftsman as a writer. The novel is a gift—and one of the many that continue to emerge from the pen and mind of so genuinely fine a writer.”—Grady Harp, Amazon Top-Ten Reviewer
“This is one action packed thriller that you don’t want to put down. The author doesn’t waste time with the trivial; he gets right to the action and stays there. Just when you think things are as bad as they possible could get…wrong!
This was different from most thrillers I read in that it also has a little humor, I absolutely loved that aspect of the book. The characters are well written, they seem like real people, flaws and all. There’s also romance in this book, which gives you a little relief from the gripping adventures. I liked this book very much and so I will be checking to see what other books this author has written.“- Vicky, I’d Rather Be At the Beach
“Blood Drama was highly entertaining and extremely enjoyable. It is a combination black comedy and crime novel. The characters of Ian and Aleece are memorable, quirky, and unique. I reveled in Ian’s quoting David Mamet (or some other playwright or work of literature) to deduce and interpret the information he had to ascertain where the clues were leading them. Meeks is a gifted writer. He has a pleasing way of propelling the action forward while developing his plot and characters. I enjoyed Meeks Love at Absolute Zero quite a bit, but I liked Blood Drama even more. I’m hopeful that Meeks will bring back Ian and Aleece to solve another crime.”- Lori, She Treads Softly
About Christopher Meeks and Sam Gonzalez Jr.
Award winning author, Christopher Meeks has had stories published in several literary journals, and he has two collections of stories, Months and Seasons and The Middle-Aged Man and the Sea. His novel The Brightest Moon of the Century made the list of three book critics’ Ten Best Books of 2009. His novel Love at Absolute Zero, also made three Best Books lists of 2011, as well as earning a ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Finalist award.
His two crime novels, Blood Drama and A Death in Vegas have earned much praise. He has had three full-length plays mounted, and one, Who Lives? had been nominated for five Ovation Awards, Los Angeles’ top theatre prize. Mr. Meeks teaches English and fiction writing at Santa Monica College, and Children’s Literature at the Art Center College of Design. To read more of his books.
Samuel Gonzalez Jr. is an Emmy nominated and award winning filmmaker who was born in the Bronx NY and raised in South Florida. He joined the United States Army in 2006 and was quickly deployed overseas during the height of the Iraq War as a military police officer. While there, in response to the stop-loss, he formed a punk rock band at Camp Warhorse, who then played several shows that raised morale for their fellow soldiers during the time of the surge.
In 2007, he was awarded the Army Commendation Medal with “V” device for combat heroism. Since his return to the States, Gonzalez has received his B.F.A in Film from the prestigious Art Center College of Design and his Master’s Degree in Screenwriting from the New York Film Academy.
His feature film directorial debut Railway Spine, a coming-of-age period war and crime drama about the real psychological disease that is PTSD won the Golden Eagle Award for “Best Military Film” at the 2016 San Diego International Film Festival and several other awards including “Best Screenplay”. He lives in Los Angeles where he is currently in development on The Chords of War as an eight-part television mini-series. To see more of his work visit www.vimeo.com/samuelgonz alezjr.
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