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The Year of the Lieutenant

When I sent out the last edition of The New Single Copy, back in June of last year, I mentioned that among my plans were to occasionally publish a blog about the business and to think about writing a highly personal look at the forty years I was involved in magazine distribution. Well, I did issue a few blogs, and several of them generated some interesting feedback. However, as my exit recedes into history, I find my perspective is less and less valuable and consequently of diminishing interest to my former subscribers, so I think the blog has seen its last edition. And while I have interviewed a number of significant players in the business, I must admit that I have not yet been able to develop the literary structure to put the forty years from 1977 to 2016 into a coherent narrative. I may come back to that someday, but it's not on the top of my current plans.

However, in my last issue of NSC, I also wrote, "And I have digitalized the manuscripts I labored over many years ago, am reworking several of them, and will likely look into getting them into print." I was referring to the novels and short stories I wrote in the years immediately preceding my entry into the magazine business. Well, that initiative I moved forward on, and, somewhat immodestly, although at the same time sheepishly, I am announcing that I have self-published the novel I completed about 40 years ago. I did spend a good deal of time going over it and making some changes, but for the most part it is very similar to what I dreamed up back in the mid-1970's

The Year of the Lieutenant is set in Thailand in 1967 and 1968. A young Air Force lieutenant spends at year at a small radar site during the height of the Vietnam War and stumbles through some misadventures, many dealing with Thai women. Although I spent a year in a similar setting at that time, the story is completely fiction.

Back in the mid-seventies I did secure an agent, but the timing was bad for fiction even remotely connected with the Vietnam War, which ended badly in the middle of that decade. I'm not implying that my novel was otherwise publishable, but it did leave me somewhat frustrated. My motivation in moving forward at this time is to have the fruit of my rather intense labor in a format that my family and friends could read if they were so inclined; or maybe it was just for me. Authors, whether successful or not, do have significant egos. With that in mind, I'm letting some of my former colleagues know The Year of the Lieutenant is available in both trade paperback and e-book format. It can be found on the website of the publisher, Archway Press, at: ; or from and It may be also listed on some other bookseller websites.


Warning: If The Year of the Lieutenant were a movie, it would be R-rated.


John Harrington