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 writesnovels, 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 aself-absorbed teen seeking adventure who gets more than he bargained for whenhe is thrown into a fantastical and unfamiliar world in which he is taskedwith finding the Scrolls of Udanadar. However, nomission is ever simple, and the boy must learn self sacrifice toaccomplish something greater than himself. It’s a nice change of pacefor young adult readers who are mostly exposed to books about teenagersfalling in love with vampires.
Roach has been writing since the sixth grade, but he didn’t feel it wastime to give it his full attention until now, after 24 years in themilitary and 25 years with his wife.
“After 24 years of service to mycountryI want to do something for myself while enriching other people’slives and, of course. make money at it,” Roach says of his writing. Heofficially retires from the military April 30.
Roach says it wasn’t until he came back from his last deployment and aMajor suggested Trafford Publishing to him that he felt he could self publishhis works for the world to see.
“I won’t say it was an easy process.Wedefinitely had our differences,” Roach says. His novelhas been available since September 2012, and he seems to bepushing 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 easierfor right-leaning artists.
“When reviewing agent profiles for thetype of literature they represented and from some of the responses Ireceived from inquiries, I felt blocked out. My story wasn’t whatthe agents who represent the current trend in YA genre were lookingfor. It wasn’t urban vampire enough, there’s no teen or gay sex, andperhaps it was too challenging,” says Roach about his early days intrying to get his book out there. He does admit he is new to thepublishing game and has taken the reigns on his own novel.
The Scrolls of Udanadar is meant for young adults, but Roachsays adults can feel safe reading it as well. And conservatives shouldfeel especially drawn to it, as Roach delves into themes of selfsacrifice and earning rewards as opposed to taking them. He says his main character comes to realize “that you can’t always getwhat you want, you have to give up something sometimes to getsomething else and that you have to earn what you keep; life isn’tgoing to hand it to you for free.”
It’s something someone who’s spent his life excelling in the militaryand defending his country should know a thing or two about. But, howmuch influence did Roach’s military service have on his writing?
“Ithink it would be very hard to writesomething with authenticity if you’ve never been anywhere. For anyfantasy and science fiction to be high grade, it must resonaterealness in its people, places, and actions,” he says.
So now, with a career in the military almost behind him and a writingcareer 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 morehumorous text meant for adults. He’s even open to the idea of Hollywood–of which he says he is “cautiously hopeful” when it comes toconservatives–mainly at the insistence of his wife. As part of itspublishing package, Scrolls was submitted to Meredith Vieira Productions.
After learning a little about Roach’s life and views and serviceto country, and understanding his clear passion for storytelling, onecan’t help but root for him. And it’s not just because he’s a servicemanor because he has an entrepreneurial spirit. It’s mainly because, whenAndrew Breitbart first imagined something like Big Hollywood and the promotion of conservative artists, I think S. Cameron Roachwas the kind of guy he had in mind.