Welcome to Coffee n’ Notes. Today, I’d like to welcome Thomas Josef, author of Incoming! Secrets of a contract warrior in Afghanistan, for an author Interview.
About the author
Thomas Josef is a native of Wisconsin and a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. In his mid-twenties, he hiked the 2000+ mile epic Appalachian Train from Georgia to Maine and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Tunisia, North Africa. He studied Spanish in Mexico, Guatemala, and Ecuador. With his passion for travel and adventure, he took a military contractor position with a Fortune 500 engineering and construction company to serve the Warfighters of Afghanistan. This is his story of that time and his first book.
Hello, Thomas. Thank you for being here today at Coffee n’ Notes 🙂
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. [This can be a quick blurb of the kinds of books you write, etc.]
I was born and raised in Wisconsin and I’m a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. I took a little time off between my sophomore and junior year of college to hike the epic 2000+ mile Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine.
From 1989 to 1991, I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Tunisia, North Africa as a community service worker helping local farmers manage greenhouses. We were ordered out of the region by decree of the State Department because of the initial Iraq-Kuwait conflict that escalated to the Gulf War.
With my Peace Corps assignment cut short and the US being at the brink of war, I decided to travel to Mexico and Central America where tensions were much more subdued. I learned Spanish in Mexico and Guatemala. When I returned to the states, I endured my career with the State of Texas and continued to reside in Austin.
After nearly ten years of service to the state, I was looking for a change in my career and one that would offer a good compensation package and travel opportunities. I decided to take a military contractor position with a Fortune 500 engineering and construction company to help serve the Warfighters of Afghanistan. During that time I started to write about daily accounts that became the premise of my book.
Describe your book in 1-2 sentences.
My book is a memoir of true-life unique experiences under extraordinary circumstance. I talk about the everyday life as a military contractor in Afghanistan: the interesting people, libidinous love affairs, and fun events that helped me keep my sanity, perspective, and peace of mind while working in a war zone.
Do you have any writing rituals or habits?
I tend to write on the fly when the mood strikes and I want to share an interesting story or experience.
What is your writing process like?
I write when stories need to be told and I have the time to tell them. When I put the pen to paper – so to speak – I relive the moment with a detailed, step-by-step description of what’s taking place or about to take place. Sometimes I add comment, speculation or a bit of my dry sense of humor.
Where did you get your book idea from?
It’s a memoir and I wanted to share some of my thoughts and feelings of war that are not shared in newspapers or magazines, how I was able to find peace and happiness in a place that reminds us of dark and gloom almost every day, and that it’s more about the journey, not the destination.
What is your favorite place to write?
Because I am task-oriented, I like to write at a desk or table where I can stay focused.
Just for fun … pick your favorite color, animal, and food.
My favorite color is blue. My favorite animal would have to be a dog. And my favorite food is nicely seasoned and grilled ribeye steak with a glass of Argentine Malbec wine!
What is the best advice you’ve been given?
If you want to do something, do it. Don’t wait for anyone to do it with you because you’ll probably still be waiting.
Do you have any advice for an aspiring author?
As a friend and fellow author told me, “Everyone has a story to share; share yours”. I pay that forward to the next aspiring author!
You can find his book Incoming! Secrets of a contract warrior in Afghanistan By Thomas Josef
Thank you so much to Thomas for being here at Coffee n’ Note, I loved having him here and I hope you enjoyed his interview, as much as I did 😀
As always, thank you so much for reading ❤