I am excited and proud to introduce my first published book, A Brother for Sorrows. More than one friend has told me that a writer’s most significant accomplishment is sitting down and actually writing the novel. That was not a problem for me. I have been making up stories and writing them down nearly all my life. My first writing endeavor was in the first grade with a six-page story about two mice. I wish I could remember what it was about or even what the title was. I suppose it still may be sitting in a box somewhere in my sister’s basement (I don’t have one in my house). But, from then on, my passion for creative writing has stayed with me ever since.

When I was in elementary school, I loved to make up stories from my favorite TV shows. I would take the actors out of their limited, 42-minute roles by creating new scenarios, more characters, and setting up new conflicts for them to address. Today, we call this “fanfiction.” And it’s a very popular vehicle for TV viewers to explore their own ideas on the shows. Of course, as a child, my versions of Batman, Star Trek, and Daniel Boone could get a little wild. Most of the time, I narrated my stories out loud when I was playing by myself. Only later in junior high school did I fill piles and piles of notebook paper.

At this time, I began laying out the foundation of my book series, The Guardian’s Son, in which A Brother for Sorrows is Book IV. It started when I created a protagonist who was a young, black-haired male character in my Star Trek stories. Plus, I put him in the stories of a famous ancient book, Arabian Nights: Tales of 1001 Nights. Plenty of material there! However, my love of European history and specifically the Holocaust helped me create a new story about a little, black-haired orphaned boy rescued by a kindly American army surgeon from the Buchenwald concentration camp.

The journey of Joe Kaufmann, a German Jew, and Holocaust survivor, has stayed in my mind for decades. By the time I was ready to put it to paper in 1999, or rather, put it into my brand-new Gateway computer, the story was complete. The original manuscript was an unwieldy 900-page novel. I divided it into six books to make it more manageable for readers. With lots of editing and proofreading, the first four books are ready for publication. Now, a new road has opened for my creative endeavor—my first book that is available for readers everywhere.