How I became a writer

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How I became a writer


If you would have told me back in 1970 that one day I would be a published author, I would have told you, “Those are fighting words.”

Really, I hated writing throughout high school and college. I hated it so much that I took nine extra courses and went the non-thesis route for my master’s degree.

So what changed? I was working a 6PM to 6AM shift in an Air Force command post one night in the spring of 1984. I was bored. I picked up a Reader’s Digest and read a story about the Civil War. In the article it mentioned that the Union forces used balloons to observe the confederate camps to estimate troop strength. I was struck by the idea that this could have been the beginnings of my Air Force profession. I was a Navigator-Observer.

The story peeked my interest so much that I went to the library and checked out four Bruce Catton books and read everything I could find on the Union Aeronautical-Observation Corps. This led to my first published article in The Navigator Magazine, called The First Observers.

Over the next year, I caught the writing bug and published three more articles in Air Force magazines.

  • John Vidmar


    Hi Steve,
    I’m cataloging “Call for blood” and I notice that full cataloging will require “disambiguating” you from other authors with your name. Usually we add a birth year, or a fuller form of the author’s name. (Usage on the title page is our main source). Could you please provide me with your birth year–usually that’s enough to break a conflict. I think with your name, “1985-” may already have been assigned. Thanks! – John Vidmar

  • JJanice Zapalac Lahodnyy


    I am so amazed by your King Cobra book, I can’t lay it down! I was going to read it this summer thru various cruise & vacation spots from Panama City to Lynchburg, TN. However, this is not a” summer- read” in my mind! Unless you are a “light-fiction” reader, I
    , myself, just wanted to read it alone…to appreciate all of the details you include in this book! The military terms were fascinating, not to mention the food that was served at the military clubs! And from the beginning page, I wondered if you have taken writing classes that would teach you how to include so many characters without losing track of who was who! And the unveiling of the book’s name in the middle of a mission was brilliant! In my mind, it would take like some kind of outline with a list of characters that come-in-&-out of the story! So, I am now to page 193! I kept thinking, he is going to run out of names for all of these characters..then Ronnie Masek shows up, Royce Janca, Chaplain Doherty, Diane Kolar, Calvin Kurtz…and, I’m loving it! With your permission, I would like to call attention to this book to the local newspapers, maybe a phone interview, & when you have time … a book signing in the area … they now have a wine house in Flatonia & would probably be a good setting. All I can tell you, is that you have done a masterful job in writing this novel! Maggie Webb is dancing in Heaven! Job well done!

    • Steve Doherty Post author


      Jan, thank you for the kind words about my book. You have my permission to call attention to my books (2nd novel – Call for Blood).

      Really, a wine house in Flatonia. Don’t y’all get to uppity on me now. I just a kid from Muldoon, TX.

      And yes, I give all the credit to Maggie Webb. She encouraged me so much.


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