“I’ve gained a great appreciation of how much hard work it takes — after the writing — to promote and disseminate the end product.”
A member of the Writers’ League since 2013, Bruce Thatcher lives outside New Braunfels.
Scribe: In what genre(s) do you write?
Bruce Thatcher: Non-fiction: political science and history.
Scribe: What author would you most like to have a drink with, and what’s the first question you would ask them?
BT: Martin Dugard (co-author of Bill O’Reilly’s Killing books). I’d ask him, “after deciding on a subject, which comes first, outline of the book or research?”
Scribe: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what book would you want to have with you to keep you sane?
BT: Can’t think of a single title. I’d probably like the luxury of a complete series by Tom Clancy, W.E.B. Griffin or Jeff Shaara, etc. They’re all so thoroughly researched and well written that my time on the island would be both pleasurable and educational … and it would fly by.
Scribe: What have you learned from your association with the Writers’ League?
BT: I’ve gained a great appreciation of how much hard work it takes, after the writing, to promote and disseminate the end product.
Scribe: Where do you see your writing taking you (or you taking it) in the future?
BT: My purpose is to distill history’s lessons into practical and reliable advice for today’s Americans and our leaders. Shorter works and articles/essays may have a place in that program.
Scribe: Here at the Writers’ League, we love sharing book recommendations. What’s one Texas-related book that has come out within the past year that you couldn’t put down?
BT: Though it first came out in 2013, I was recently given a copy of Philipp Meyer’s The Son, a historical novel of a family/dynasty set in Texas from 1811 to well past the mid-20th century. It’s too long for a single sitting but, once begun, that’s the way I wanted to read it.
Scribe: Is there anything else about you that you would like to share with the world? An opportunity for blatant self-promotion!
BT: I wrote a few books during my business career (including one on a short-deadline contract), but they were for specialised audiences and limited purpose. After retiring and moving to Texas I started writing the HST books out of frustration with how country’s leaders – America’s and others – seem to approach most problems with no apparent awareness of history’s relevant lessons. History Speaks Today was launched as my attempt to correct that ignorance, at least in some small way. I decided to use a business-case approach to presenting practical historical lessons, focused not so much on the who-what-when-where-why of history but, rather, on the so what that is usually absent from traditional history teaching. The result has been three books that articulate clear guidelines for dealing with specific problems of today (Adamant Aggressors, Immigration and Rise and Decline).
When I began HST, I envisioned it could be an umbrella under which other authors could research and present historical lessons for today. That hasn’t yet happened, but if it sounds interesting to other Writers’ League members, I’d like to hear from them.
If you’re a Writers’ League member and you’d be interested in being interviewed for our Meet the Members feature, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. It’s a great way for other members to get to know you and for you to share a bit about what you’re working on!