Military Serviceman Turns to Self Publishing to Make His Mark

S. Cameron Roach has been in the military for 24 years. He has been to three wars, speaks Arabic and is an expert on Middle East matters. However, there is one more aspect to his resume that he recently revealed to the world: he writes novels, the first of which is available now as an e-Book and online in print format from major retailers. 

Roach's The Scrolls of Udanadar follows a self-absorbed teen seeking adventure who gets more than he bargained for when he is thrown into a fantastical and unfamiliar world in which he is tasked with finding the Scrolls of Udanadar. However, no mission is ever simple, and the boy must learn self sacrifice to accomplish something greater than himself. It's a nice change of pace for young adult readers who are mostly exposed to books about teenagers falling in love with vampires. 

Roach has been writing since the sixth grade, but he didn't feel it was time to give it his full attention until now, after 24 years in the military and 25 years with his wife.

"After 24 years of service to my country I want to do something for myself while enriching other people's lives and, of course. make money at it," Roach says of his writing. He officially retires from the military April 30.

Roach says it wasn't until he came back from his last deployment and a Major suggested Trafford Publishing to him that he felt he could self publish his works for the world to see.

"I won't say it was an easy process. We definitely had our differences," Roach says. His novel has been available since September 2012, and he seems to be pushing it as hard as he can. But, as any artist knows, it's not easy. And as we here at Big Hollywood know, it certainly isn't any easier for right-leaning artists.

"When reviewing agent profiles for the type of literature they represented and from some of the responses I received from inquiries, I felt blocked out. My story wasn't what the agents who represent the current trend in YA genre were looking for. It wasn't urban vampire enough, there's no teen or gay sex, and perhaps it was too challenging," says Roach about his early days in trying to get his book out there. He does admit he is new to the publishing game and has taken the reigns on his own novel.

The Scrolls of Udanadar is meant for young adults, but Roach says adults can feel safe reading it as well. And conservatives should feel especially drawn to it, as Roach delves into themes of self sacrifice and earning rewards as opposed to taking them. He says his main character comes to realize "that you can't always get what you want, you have to give up something sometimes to get something else and that you have to earn what you keep; life isn't going to hand it to you for free."

It's something someone who's spent his life excelling in the military and defending his country should know a thing or two about. But, how much influence did Roach's military service have on his writing?

"I think it would be very hard to write something with authenticity if you've never been anywhere. For any fantasy and science fiction to be high grade, it must resonate realness in its people, places, and actions," he says. 

So now, with a career in the military almost behind him and a writing career still in front of him, Roach seems to have it all planned out. He's working on two more novels, another young adult book and a more humorous text meant for adults. He's even open to the idea of Hollywood--of which he says he is "cautiously hopeful" when it comes to conservatives--mainly at the insistence of his wife. As part of its publishing package, Scrolls was submitted to Meredith Vieira Productions. 

After learning a little about Roach's life and views and service to country, and understanding his clear passion for storytelling, one can't help but root for him. And it's not just because he's a serviceman or because he has an entrepreneurial spirit. It's mainly because, when Andrew Breitbart first imagined something like Big Hollywood and the promotion of conservative artists, I think S. Cameron Roach was the kind of guy he had in mind.

Roach's The Scrolls of Udanadar is available in both print and eBook editions.


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