10 Things You Didn’t Know About James Rada, Jr.
- My first short stories were published while I was in high school. I was a senior in high school when I had short stories accepted for publication in the National Vietnam Veterans Review. I wasn’t paid for them, but I still count them as my first publishing credits.
- My first professional publishing writing credit was in 1988. The first time that I got paid for something I wrote was when I was still in college. I competed in a competition to develop a marketing and advertising campaign for a new business. I put together an entire campaign with ads, press releases, etc. and won the competition. What I was particularly pleased with was that I was competing against teams of other college students, and yet, I won by doing it all by myself.
- I have won more than two dozen journalism and advertising awards. I have won awards from the Maryland-Delaware-DC Press Association, Society of Professional Journalists, Associated Press, Maryland State Teachers Association, CNHI, Utah Ad Federation and American Advertising Federation of Greater Frederick. I figure it is only a matter of time before my books start winning awards. I’ve got my fingers crossed.
- My family is not interested in writing. You would figure that at least someone in my family would also be interested in writing since it’s my work. They’re not. In fact, only my youngest son is the only regular reader in the family and my wife admits the only book of mine that she has read was my first historical novel published in 2000.
- Both of my sons are adopted. My wife and I have two sons. They are both adopted; one from Kentucky and one from Russia.
- I love to bicycle. I can’t say that I’m particularly fast on my bike. I average about 13.5 mph, but I do bike about 100 miles a week. I tend to meander along the back roads in the county where I live. I love the scenery, but sometimes the hills kill me. I will even ride my bike if I have to run errands in Gettysburg.
- I own a dinosaur egg. I have a small collection of interesting fossils, rocks and minerals that I’ve accumulated over the years. At a festival I attend annually to sign books, there’s another gentlemen who sells rocks and minerals. I always check out his items. Last year, he had a fossilized hadrosaur egg from China. It’s about the size of two softballs. It was a splurge purchase.
- I have had articles published in more than 110 publications. I like to write and I try to get in a wide variety of publications as well as getting published multiple times in the ones I like. I do this rather than focusing on a few magazines because I have had magazines that I write for go out of business. I have been published in magazines, newspapers, web sites, newsletters and newspapers that cover a lot of different markets and subjects. One of the reasons for the variety is that I usually come up with an idea first and then try to find the market for it.
- I started out as a business major in college. I did this because my grandfather kept telling me that I needed a major that I could get a job with. I figured out that when I get falling asleep in class, though, that I might want to find a major that better suited me. With my grandfather’s advice in my head and my interest in writing, I settled on advertising copywriting, which was an enjoyable major.
- I am a big Jimmy Stewart fan. Forget modern actors. My favorite actor is Jimmy Stewart. I’ve enjoyed his movies since I first watched Mr. Smith Goes to Washington while I was in college. I think I have seen all of his movies and most of his television roles. I have even listened to his old-time radio series and guest appearances.
It is dangerous work, though, during war time because the canal runs along the Potomac River and between the North and South. Having had to endured death and loss already, Alice wonders whether remaining on the canal is worth the cost. She wants her family reunited and safe, but she can’t reconcile her feelings between David and her dead husband. Her adopted son, Tony, has his own questions that he is trying to answer.
He wants to know who he is and if his birth mother ever loved him. As he tries to find out more about his birth mother and father, he stumbles onto a plan by Confederate sympathizers to sabotage the canal and burn dozens of canal boats. He enlists David’s help to try and disrupt the plot before it endangers his new family, but first they will have find out who is behind the plot.