MWSA 2011 Founder's Award
People wonder why I select certain books for "The MWSA Founder's Award" each year - there seems to be so little in common with the selections at first glance. But it is not just the book that I select - but also the character of the authors themselves. Their tales go beyond the self and express universal themes - and in some way, give inspiration and HOPE to the readers.
This year's award winning book took the author out of his personal comfort zone a little - beyond simple prose and humor - as he introduced readers to a line-up of heroes from American wars - some had actual medals to show for that effort - some just had their lives and survived. However, all were truly heroic and the author found ways to share that humanity with an inner glimpse of these real people.
The author also followed my personal writer's rule Number One – “Always end the book, or movie, by giving the reader/viewer HOPE!” There is nothing worse then reading a book full of sad stories and leaving a reader depressed after reading it. This writer heeded my advice and was successful in that effort.
The book title OUT OF THE MIST: MEMORIES OF WAR is not a tale of just one man and one memoir - but it is a collection of souls - each with their own story to tell. Each story reflects personally on that man's experiences but most lead us to those universal questions for all mankind at large. The bigger questions of life and its meaning - why we are here and why we survived and others did not? How do we put back our lives after war? How do we honor our own memories and those of our fallen friends?
MWSA member and author Michael Mullins wrote a book that is more about the inner voyage of the heart and spirit then so much on wartime events. There is plenty of the war stuff - but Mullins connects it all together with his own emotional energy; thus, he elevates the individual stories to another level. It is like they are all truly connected at the highest universal level of mankind. It is like all the experiences exploded from one soul source and one mind and yet are so very different in nature - as day is to darkness. Yet - there is also a dark side to these tales as well - and the author wanders through that valley with you so you do not get lost.
It is my honor to give this year's MWSA Founder's Award to Michael Mullins - I wish I were there to give this to him in person. But know that my heart is truly there with all of you.
Reviewed by: Bill McDonald (2010)
Michael D. "Moon" Mullins with his usual flair has found a perfect way to bring life to the stories of America's Warriors. His lyrical way with words has opened a window into the past that is closing much too quickly. Out of the Mist, Memories of War touches the soul and brings the reader to a deep understanding of the sacrifices made by those ready to stand in the breach. - D. H. Brown, Award-winning author of Honor Defended, Board member of Military Writers Society of America, Vietnam Veteran.