13 May 2022

They Called Him Marvin by Roger Stark Book Tour and Guest Review!

They Called Him Marvin by Roger Stark

They Called Him Marvin by Roger Stark

Publisher: Silver Star (September 21, 2021
Category: Historical Romance, WW2, Family Saga, Based on a True Story
Tour dates: April 25-June 24, 2022
ISBN: 978-0578855288

Available in Print and ebook, 320 pages

They Called Him Marvin

Description They Called Him Marvin by Roger Stark

They were just kids, barely not teenagers, madly in love and wanting to be a family, but WW2 and a B29 got in their way.

Three hundred ten days before Pearl Harbor, buck private Dean Sherman innocently went to church with a new friend in Salt Lake City. From that moment, the unsuspecting soldier travelled a remarkable, heroic path, falling in love, graduating from demanding training to become a B29 pilot, conceiving a son and entering the China, Burma and India theater of the WW2.

He chronicled his story with letters home to his bride Connie that he met on that fateful Sunday, blind to the fact that fifteen hundred seventy five days after their meeting, a Japanese swordsman would end his life.

His crew, a gaggle of Corporals that dubbed themselves the Corporealizes, four officers and a tech Sargent, adventured their way across the globe. Flying the “Aluminum Trail” also called the Hump through the Himalayas, site of the most dangerous flying in the world. Landing in China to refuel and then fly on to places like Manchuria, Rangoon or even the most southern parts of Japan to drop 500 pounders.

Each mission had its challenges, minus fifty degree weather in Mukden, or Japanese fighters firing away at them, a close encounter of the wrong kind, nearly missing a collision with another B29 while flying in clouds, seeing friends downed and lost because of “mechanicals,” the constant threat of running out of fuel and their greatest fear, engine fire.

Transferred to the Mariana Islands, he and his crew were shot down over Nagoya, Japan as part of Mission 174, captured and declared war criminals.

Connie’s letters reveal life for a brand new mother whose husband is declared MIA. The agony for both of them, he in a Japanese prison, declared a war criminal, and she just not knowing why his letters stopped coming.

Review They Called Him Marvin by Roger Stark

Guest Review by Laura Lee

'They Called Him Marvin,' is a story about love, survival and war in what was probably the most terrifying time for American citizens of the 20th century.

In 1941, World War II was raging across much of the world, but despite sending supplies, American had kept cautiously out of the fighting. This would all change after Japanese forces bombed Pearl Harbor and the U.S finally began sending troops overseas. These are things we all know from history class, but what of the soldiers who were sent overseas in those first waves of assignments? What of the individuals called upon to serve their country, who had limited information of what they were even getting into?

This book is about a man like that, Lt. Dean Sherman, who, in 1941 was not yet a lieutenant, but who had just met the love of his life in the form of one Constance Baldwin. Constance was a nice, church-going girl, whose parents were initially reluctant to let her date a soldier. But eventually, Constance's parents relented, and the two dated and were married shortly before the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Constance soon became pregnant and it was while she was with child that Dean was called upon to pilot a B-29 over to China and Japan. Constance returned to her parent's house in Utah, where she had only Dean's love letters to make her feel close to him for the next four years. These letters are reprinted in the book, and they make up the soul of 'They Called Him Marvin,' providing a human element to the story of a war that, at so many times, was anything but humane.

Roger Stark really makes his readers love the people that he writes about and appreciate the finer details of what each of them were going through. Although Dean Sherman was never able to return home to his wife and their son, Marvin, I'm sure he would have enjoyed this book and liked to have his side of the story told. It is based on the true story and the writing is pure gold! 

Guest Post by Roger Stark

So, What Makes You Think You are a Writer?

 I don't consider my self a writer. When My wife introduced me to a new acquaintance saying, "He is a writer," I was taken back, shocked like it was a new idea coming into my mind for the first time. Well, yeah, I am retired from day jobs, I have written stuff, but I haven't tried to make a living doing it, or won any fabulous prize or notoriety because of anything I have written. I am just a regular human being that has written some stuff. I don't deserve to elevate myself to the status of people who can really write.

In my junior year of high school my English teacher Miss Johnson, a definite credit to the profession, sponsored a little essay contest amongst all of the juniors taking English (which of course was everyone) that year. Fifteen hundred words. I remember thinking how impossible writing fifteen hundred words would be when she announced the assignment. I gave it the automatic "No Way" reaction. It took me a while to recover enough to actually start formulating a subject and the how of writing fifteen hundred words. You know, 1500 words that went together, that turned into something.

I had recently seen a movie that I quite enjoyed. "Mr Roberts" had made the transition from Broadway hit to the movie screen bringing along the star of the play Henry Fonda as Roberts. One of the scenes that stuck in my head was an overflow of suds from the laundry that inundated the ship. Bubbles of soap suds billowed out of the ship's lower areas onto the main deck. My wondering about what I might write for my essay collided with that hilarious scene, and an essay titled "Bubbles" was born. To get to the point my essay won the contest, I filed that away as nice, but never considered that I might have some sort of skill in the art of writing.

Fast forward to my real life career as an Addiction Counselor. As I accumulated knowledge in the field, I applied to a national organization to present on the subject of addiction recovery. The presentation went very well, and convinced me I had enough material for a book on the subject. A year later "The Waterfall Concept, A Blueprint for Addiction Recovery" appeared in print. It was not on any best seller's list, but sold enough copies that I called it successful. I followed that up with "Reclaiming Your Addicted Brain," a book I coauthored with an addict friend. But those were self help books and quite different from a "real" story. Fiction or even creative non fiction, writing just seemed out of the realm of possibility for me.

 Then I went to dinner at Marv's house. We had worked together, along with some others, on a recovery project and he and his wife, Judy put on a little dinner party to thank all who had helped. Judy's dinner was exceptional, but it was the after-dinner conversation that changed my mind about writing. Marv related to me the story of a father he had never met, a victim of WW2. He was very emotional and admitted that he knew little of his father, the pain of researching him just too great. I knew that this was a story that others should hear, should remember. and should honor.

That was eight years ago now. Six of those years were spent in research and writing. I visited Japan, the National Archives in Washington DC and spent countless hours in front of my computer researching, finding bits of information here and there. When Marv gave me the letters to transcribe, I knew they had to be part of what I was writing. Many writers friends suggested just using a few, but I felt this was Dean and Connie's story and I should let them tell as much of it as I could.

I felt other worldly influences when I wrote. Many times, I looked behind me as I was writing to see if Dean was looking over my shoulder. I could feel his influence. He liked to wake me at 4 am with a great idea or sentence. I learned to go to the computer and record them or they would evaporate if I went back to sleep.

So "They Called Him Marvin" came into existence, not because I am a writer, but because it needed to be told. People needed to hear it. People need to remember and honor their gift to us.

So please don't confuse me with a writer. The wordsmiths that do magical things with words. I am just a guy who heard a story and felt it needed to be passed along.

They Called Him Marvin by Roger Stark

About Roger Stark

Roger Stark, by his own admission, is a reluctant writer. But there are stories that demand to be told. When we hear them, we must pick up our pen, lest we forget and the stories be lost. Six years ago, in a quiet conversation with his friend, Marvin, he learned the tragic story of his father, a WW2 B-29 Airplane Commander, shot down over Nagoya, Japan, just months before the end of the war.

The telling of the story that evening by this half orphan was so moving and full of emotion, it compelled Roger to ask if he could write the story. The result being “They Called Him Marvin.”

Roger Stark’s life has been profoundly touched in so many ways by being part of documenting this sacred story. He prays that we never forget, as a people, the depth of sacrifice that was made by ordinary people like Marvin and his father and mother on our behalf.

Website: https://theycalledhimmarvin.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TCHMarvin

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Giveaway They Called Him Marvin by Roger Stark

This giveaway is for 3 print copies, one for each of 3 winners. This giveaway is open to  the U.S. only and ends on June 24, 2022 midnight, pacific time.  Entries accepted via Rafflecopter only.

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  1. I am so glad you enjoyed 'They Called Him Marvin', Laura! I cried a lot while reading it. So touching. Thanks so much for hosting Roger, Kathleen!



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