Douglas Arvidson is a past winner of the WICE/Paris Transcontinental International Short Story competition. His short fiction has been published in Paris, Prague, and in literary magazines in the United States and he was recently invited to be a staff writer for the Prague Revue, a cutting-edge, online literary journal ( The novels in his fantasy series, The Eye of the Eye of Stallion, include The Face in Amber, The Mirrors of Castaway Time, and A Drop of Wizard's Blood. His new novel, Brothers of the Fire Star, was selected as a finalist in the ForeWord Reviews 2012 Book of the Year national awards and as a finalist in three categories in the 2013 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards: Action Adventure Fiction, Historical Fiction, and Young Adult Fiction. It has become part of the pantheon of Pacific literature and is now included in school literature programs. Brothers of the Fire Star is an adventure story set in the Pacific during World War II and concerns two boys of different races and cultures who escape the island of Guam in a small sailboat when the Japanese army invades. They must then struggle to survive as they master the secrets of the ancient Pacific navigators. Appropriate for young adults as well as adult readers, Brothers of the Fire Star is available on Barnes & Noble, ( and Visit the author's website:

Monday, June 14, 2010

Book II Has Gone to Press; Hard at the New Novel: Have I Been Sailing?

                   The Steaming Volcano on the Island of Pagan, CNMI

No battle is ever won.... They are not even fought. The field only reveals to man his own folly and despair, and victory is an illusion of philosophers and fools.

WILLIAM FAULKNER, The Sound and the Fury

This is the island of Pagan (pronounced PAH-gun and meaning something like "place where it smells" and having no connection to the other word). And this is the setting for the final chapters of my new novel that is moving along nicely, though, after doing some more research, I'm going to have to do some re-writing. Seems that after the Battle of Saipan, the American 7th Air Force began bombing and straffing Pagan to eliminate the lightly garrisoned Japanese naval base located here. I was able to find the actual list of dates it was attacked by P-47s and B-24s and they were at it pretty steadily right after Saipan was conquered.

When we sailed to Pagan, I guess it was eight or so years ago now, island was uninhabited and the volcano was quiet, but we found the place pitted and pocked with bomb craters and there was a bombed-out Japanese Zero fighter and a small bomber sitting  on the sides of the old runway. The old bomb shelters where the generators and such were located were still intact and now home to feral pigs. There is also the site of the crash of an American Hellcat fighter/bomber that was shot down. The young pilot, Lt. Roy Bechtel, was killed and his remains, such as they were, were located recently by a team of WWII MIA investigators. The report indicates that there were signs of human remains that had been "liquified" by heat in what would have been the cockpit of the aircraft.

In any event, my characters, my "boys," having sailed their traditional canoe, or proa, up from the Carolines and having survived the final Japanese bonzai charge on Saipan, are now on Pagan and will have to deal with yet another hellscape before it's over. But they are keeping a promise, so they need to be here.

Meanwhile, just got word from my publisher this morning that The Mirrors of Castaway Time,  Book II of the Eye of the Stallion series (it was a  trilogy, but now, what? A fourth book?) has gone to press.

If you want to see some pix of Pagan, go to my website: It was a fine adventure we had up there in the far reaches of the western Pacific.

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