Tenacity Pays Off (I hope) – Week 26

Many of you may be noticing that I am standing a little straighter and walking a little lighter this week – the result of a large load being taken from my back. At long last this week, what I consider my first “real” book has made it to retail. Trauma and Tenacity in Vietnam is completed and available on Audible. Of course, this is about the 40th title I have put up, but this to me is an important book and one which the author was very invested in getting done correctly.

From the publisher, the book summary:

Trauma and Tenacity in Vietnam: A Surgeon’s Story captures the defining period in the medical life of Capt. Sheldon Kushner, MD, while stationed in Vinh Long, Vietnam, from 1968-69. Through letters, reel-to-reel tape recordings, slides, and the personal interviews that recounted his experience, the story of a young surgeon is revealed.

When we think of Vietnam and medicine, there is a natural tendency to think of the M*A*S*H image of treating American soldiers wounded in combat. However, unlike the TV doctors who helped our servicemen, Sheldon used his medical skills to care for wounded Vietnamese civilians. This role represents a new part of the story that is Vietnam. It was an effort by our government to improve the health conditions and showcase America’s compassion and good intentions to win the hearts and minds of the South Vietnamese people. The great hope was that the South Vietnamese would embrace these medical practices and continue them, just as our military believed that as we advised the South Vietnamese, they would gain the ability and motivation to defeat the North Vietnamese. This lofty goal of medical mentorship was never achieved, but the men and women who went to do the job came away changed and wholly committed to the idea that they made a difference.

When we listen to this book about other people’s lives, we feel their triumphs and tragedies; we vicariously experience the lessons life taught them. In Vietnam, Sheldon learned that he was a survivor, a man whose love of medicine was broadened to explore the inner sense of pride in his work. He discovered he had the tenacity to meet the challenge of unrelenting daily surgery and that under less-than-optimal conditions, he and his team could use creativity to accomplish their goal of keeping people alive. His ethics were left intact in spite of what he saw around him. Most of the letters and tapes utilized in the creation of this book reflect the emotions of an inexperienced 26-year old physician, overwhelmed and unprepared for the horrors of a brutal war that he did not understand. The scars remain imprinted in the minds of many veterans who returned home alive, only to be met by the insensitivity, contempt, and hatred conveyed by some people who did not serve in Vietnam and did not understand.

In this book, you will hear the profound effect Sheldon’s service in Vinh Long had on him physically and mentally. It also shaped his opinion on the war. It was truly the defining period of his life. As Sheldon concluded about his time in Vietnam: “We did a lot of surgery and saved a lot of people’s lives. We filled a great humanitarian need.”

©2017 Mary Jane Ingui, PhD (P)2018 Mary Jane Ingui, PhD

To begin with, I want to thank Dr. Mary Ingui and her husband, Bill, who entrusted this book to me. I was pretty new to ACX, and they were even newer, but after an audition, some exchanged messages, another audition, and more messages, we finally contracted with each other to produce this book as a Royalty Share. Mary and Bill have been great to work with, professional and personable, with an attention to detail that pushed me to do better.

At nearly five hours, this was my longest project, and I learned a lot in the process. Until you have done a book of this length, I think it is hard to understand the work, determination, and emotional investment required. Some of these lessons have been or will be topics of posts here, so if you glean any useful information from this blog, I hope you will check out this title.

As with all my Royalty Share books, I have some promo codes that I will share with those of you that are timely in making the request.

In other areas, I received a cold call message from someone claiming to be from Beacon Audiobooks who had seen this blog and was wondering if I would be interested in producing audiobooks for Beacon. I have said before that it would seem getting in with a publishing house would be a good career move, so this was of interest to me. However, I was uncertain that a publisher would do a cold call like this, so I had my internet scam alert goggles on the whole time, too. After doing some Sherlocking, I decided this offer was on the level, and agreed to produce Katarina the Killer (Book two in a series) by Trent St. Germain. This is a Royalty Share project as well.

Have you heard any of the affirmations books with the soothing music and the positive phrase playing – You are strong. You are intelligent. Some people tend to pan them as gimmicky, some find them helpful, and indeed some clinicians/counelors endorse them. I did one this past week, and the funnest part of it was integrating the spoken word and the music. The Rights Holder provided some Royalty Free music, and the book was composed of three sections:

  • The spoken word only,
  • The affirmations with Mindfulness music behind it,
  • The affirmations with Deep Sleep music behind it.

An interesting project for me because it reminded me how much I enjoy audio engineering, even in this simple of a process. I believe I will look into adding some of this type of work into my repertoire in order to have another possible revenue stream. Anyone done any of this so far? Let us know your thoughts and experiences.

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