A Young Soldier from Tennessee (book review)

I was contacted by Goodman Media International and recieved a book titled "PLAY ON" by Marilynn Halas, I really liked the plot of the book, and the main character's name "Danny" The story begins with Danny, a young soldier in Afghanistan far from his horse and the green fields of his family’s farm in Tennessee. Eight years later, Dillon, a teenager from New York City, picks up Danny’s guitar at a music shop in Tennessee embarking on a life changing journey filled with family secrets, time travel and a guitar rumored to have belonged to Elvis Presley.  With twists and turns in every chapter, PLAY ON promises to keep readers guessing and reading until they uncover the mysteries that link Dillon’s story to Danny’s legacy. Beyond the fast-paced intrigue, PLAY ON underlines the resiliency and perseverance to find that inner hero that exists in everyone, if we are just willing to play on.  I totally JUST can relate to resiliency and perseverance being a military spouse.
The author states “In a world when the unexpected can become routine I wanted kids to know that they have the inner strength to keep going. I believe that the best heroes are ordinary people in extraordinary situations that rise to the occasion. I also believe there is a hero in everyone.”
In addition, to be being able to do a book review, the author Marilynn Halas was available for a Q&A EXCLUSIVE on ARMY TANKERS WIFE.

What made you want to become a writer?  I have been a storyteller all my life and I still remember the thrill I had in first grade when I wrote down my stories for the first time.  For me, being a writer is a great privilege.  To have the chance to take the reader to a new place and share that journey into a new world is my greatest thrill. 
  • Why did you pick that genre?  I write for young people because there is no audience as interesting, engaged and excited about story.  Young people are open to new ideas and willing to embrace all kinds of characters.  As a writer, I think it’s fun to know my characters will find good homes in the hands of the young and the young at heart.
  • Did you struggle through anything? I think part of what makes a story interesting is the struggle and to write that kind of conflict well, it is important to have some experience with dealing with struggles on a personal level.  Having grown up spending my summers in Northern Ireland during what was euphemistically called the Troubles, I used some of that experience in writing the Afghanistan scenes in Play On.  I can’t pretend that revisiting those memories is easy for me, but I believe that my readers deserve an authentic understanding of what a warzone can be like.  To the extent that it serves the story, I am always willing to deal with that kind of struggle because I think it deepens the readers’ experience of the book.
  • Is there anything to say to young writers?  I’d love to tell young writers to keep writing. Every one of them has a story inside them that needs to be told.  Sometimes writing can be difficult, but it is worth it.  Just get something down on the page.  Don’t worry about perfection; it’s about persistence.  Take your time and enjoy the story you are telling.  There will be plenty of time to edit, for now, just get something on the page, everyday.
  • What is your muse?  My muse is that look in a child’s eyes when they are surprised and delighted all at the same time, or a great song on the radio when we all pile into the car to go somewhere fun, or nature, birds singing or wild winds blowing all inspire me. 
    I really appreciate Marilynn taking the time to do a Q & A with Army Tankers Wife.


    1. This sounds like such a great story, perfect for a summer read! How cool is it you got to interview Marilynn Halas?!


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