For those who are not familiar, your current book Jaspar's War has been well received. Can give us some insight into the book?
Jaspar’s War examines the process by which a rich socialite becomes a warrior to rescue her children, told from her own point of view as she is connected with a warrior seeking to become a human being. Their mission occurs throughout Tuscany and ends in the Monte Carlo Grand Prix.
On the humanitarian front, I've been very inspired by your generosity. What led you to devote your proceeds towards our servicemen and women?
When I returned from Vietnam in 1966, I had health and the G.I. Bill to pursue an education to better myself. So many of my compatriots did not. I dedicate the proceeds (100%) in a quest to help those who return today as best I can. It is a tribute to those of my own generation who never had a chance. So far we have provided equipment for about half of the 200 heroes on the waiting list when we began.
I also volunteer at a rescue mission for the homeless. There are so many Vietnam and other war veterans. It is my joy to try to help others avoid such a fate.
For those who are not familiar with Operation Next Chapter, can you tell us about it and what services it provides?
It is an initiative we formed to raise money to purchase voice-activated computers for our heroes who cannot use their hands, as well as service dogs for those who need canine guidance or alert.
You have a new novel we have to look forward to, Harvest of Gold, tell us about it.
Molly is a school teacher in rural Texas, who has always been anxious about her never explained heritage. As she learns that her mother was rescued from Auschwitz as a child and deposited in the same locale, a war breaks out as a mammoth Swiss bank (the world’s largest) seeks to kill her and any children to eliminate any claim to the so-called Jewish Gold that is its own financial base. The bank is aided by the U.S. President and his government. She is taken prisoner with her only son, who does not know that he has fathered a child in his sweetheart. Can she survive to claim her heritage. The story ends in a shoot-out on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court.
From your experiences with soldiers, what challenges have you found? What do you feel has been their biggest need?
Acceptance and respect for their sacrifice. In my generation, we were spit on and pilloried as “baby killers.” Fortunately, our heroes are hailed for their service. They still have huge needs that government can fully provide.
You are involved in a new initiative, Patriot Paws? Can you tell us more about it and how we can get involved?
Yes. Patriot Paws provides service dogs for our heroes in need, at a cost of about $ 27,000 each. Through our Operation: Next Chapter, we reached out to form a bridge and cooperation as we did with Soldiers’ Angels for the voice-activated computer program.
Are you currently working on anything that we can look out for?
For sure! Presently, we are seeking a literary agent and commercial publisher to expand the funds available for our Operation: Next Chapter, as the service dogs are vastly more expensive than the computers. I learned in the Navy long ago to approach dreams one step-at-a-time, which is what we are doing in our quest to honor our heroes. I look forward to my own tears as heroes are united with their new soulmates – service dogs!
For Cym and all the veterans past, present and future, thank you for your dedication and commitment to your respective military services!
Cym Lowell was born in Montana to academics and spent his youth traveling the world. To put it politely, he was an undistinguished student, rewarded with assignment to the U.S. Navy at 18. After two years in Vietnam, college and law school were a challenge. Being a veteran in the political turbulence of the late 1960s and early 1970s taught humility. Raising three children in the Midwest and Texas brought love and responsibility. An international tax practice in the financial crises of the past 40 years provided insight into motivations of actors on the global stage. Friends, clients, adversaries, and colleagues, like victory and defeat, added color and context. The result is a writer with a treasure trove of experience to frame compelling characters enmeshed in heart-thumping challenges.