The following is an article published by the Daily Item.
Perhaps the best part of publishing a semi-autobiographical book is reuniting with some of the real-life friends who inspired your fictional characters — and not only remaining friends with them, but hearing them praise your writing.
John Millar, who graduated from Danville Area High School in 1962 and now lives in Virginia, published his 616-page novel “The Wars Among the Paines” (Koehler Books) last September. Just last week, he and his wife headed to Virginia Beach to meet with three fellow soldiers who shared their young adult days with him during the Vietnam War and became characters in his book.
“They all loved the book, and they didn’t mind how I characterized them,” Millar said. “So we’re still on speaking terms. We had a good get-together last night (Sept. 9), talking about old memories.”
The book follows the story of the Paine family from WWI through Vietnam, where Millar served as a first lieutenant with the First Infantry Division in ’68 and ’69 and received two Bronze Stars, an Air Medal, and a Commendation Medal from the US Army.