Necessary Background Info

When I was a teenager, I was close to my maternal grandfather, Milton M. Brown. I was fascinated by the time he spent as a "delegate" in Herbert Hoover's WWI Commission for Relief in Belgium (CRB). He was one of only 185 American supervisors who ever worked for the CRB. After he died in 1979, I inherited all his diaries, correspondence and photographs from that period (1916-1917).

From 1986 through 1989, I worked full time researching the time period, WWI, the CRB, and numerous delegates. From those efforts, I wrote an 850-page historical novel, Honor Bound. I had a few nibbles -- agents and publishers who asked for the entire manuscript -- but no one offered a contract. In the late 1990s, I made a half-hearted attempt to rewrite the novel, but it didn't go far.

After my second book, Facing Your Fifties: Every Man's Reference to Mid-life Health came out in 2002 (and was included in Publishers Weekly's Best Books of 2002), my agent looked at Honor Bound. He suggested the topic would do well -- and fit my writing strengths -- if it was a history book written in novel-like style.

At the end of 2012, as I turned 60 years old, I came to the conclusion that it was time to take up this incredible humanitarian story again and see if I could make it work.

After more than a year of researching and writing, and with the help of a talented book team, I published Behind the Lines: WWI's little-known story of German occupation, Belgian resistance, and the band of Yanks who helped save millions from starvation. 1914. It detailed the complex and chaotic beginnings of the CRB and CN during the critical first five months of the war (August to December, 1914). It was released in October 2014 in time for the 100-year anniversary of the start of WWI and the CRB.

Since then, I'm happy to report that Behind the Lines has garnered national recognitions and reviews that include a Kirkus Starred Review (only 750 out of 10,000 books annually reviewed by Kirkus are awarded a Starred Review) and inclusion in Kirkus Reviews' Best Books of 2014. The last sentence of the review states: "An excellent history that should catapult Miller to the top tier of popular historians." You can read all the reviews at the book's website, which can be reached by clicking here.

Since 2015, my main goal has been to finish researching and writing WWI Crusaders, which tells the riveting full story in one volume of the American CRB delegates from August, 1914 to May, 1917, when the last Americans had to leave Belgium because of America's entry in the war.

Below are my blog posts. Each week through to the end of 2018 I’ll start each blog post with a “Don’t-Forget-WWI-Project” item. It’s my way of honoring all those who participated (willingly or unwillingly) in World War I (1914-1918).

It's also my way of drawing attention to my new book, WWI Crusaders: A band of Yanks in German-occupied Belgium help save millions from starvation as civilians resist the harsh German rule. August 1914 to May 1917.

After the "Don't-Forget-WWI-Project" item, my blog post will be about my self-publishing WWI Crusaders and my PR and marketing efforts to get national media exposure for this incredible humanitarian story that has all but been forgotten today.

I hope you find something of interest within this blog. For more information about Behind the Lines and WWI Crusaders, please go to the books' website by clicking here.

Post #40: A New World Is Coming

Friday, July 27, 2018

Don't-Forget-WWI-Project: Pre-war world. Less than two weeks before the August 4, 1914 start of World War I (1914-1918), the world was a much different place than today. 100 years ago, there was no commercial radio, no TV, no cell phones, no commercial airplanes, and motorcars were still outnumbered by horses, wagons, and people on foot. The fastest form of transportation was the train. The only way to get to Europe from America was by ship on a voyage of 10 days or more. People received national and international news only from newspapers, magazines, or word-of-mouth.

The world was about to be reshaped in the most painful of ways, and soldiers weren't the only ones who would feel the changes. How would civilians fare when the war started? 

My Post: The title of this post, "A New World Is Coming" not only refers to the start of World War I and the havoc it is about to bring to an unsuspecting world. The title also implies what I hope will be a new world of possibilities that will open up for me since finishing my opus, WWI Crusaders.
For readers to fully understand, I need to step back a moment and explain. A lot has happened since my last post on this blog back in October 2017. After that post, I became single-minded in my focus to finish researching and writing my new book, WWI Crusaders.
The book tells the full story of the Commission for Relief in Belgium, it's Belgian counterpart, the Comite National (CN), and the Belgians who created the underground newspaper, La Libre Belgique (the Free Belgium).
After what felt like countless days of spending every waking hour thinking, reading, and writing about this topic -- mostly in my 7-foot by 7.5-foot office space two miles from my house -- I finally finished the massive manuscript at 2 p.m. on Thursday, April 26, 2018.
Having found no traditional book publisher that could publish the book by November 11, 2018 (the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI), I had decided to self-publish the book, just like I did Behind the Lines back in 2014.
In later posts, I'll go into the joys and pains of self-publishing, and the acknowledgments to all those who helped me make the book better than I could have on my own. And I'll go into hiring a nationally known book publicist to give this book the best chance for gaining national media exposure.
For now, just know that the book is completely done and that I have held a copy in my hands. What an incredible feeling!
I hope to have pre-orders for the book set up on Amazon by late August or early September, while regular sales will begin on November 11, 2018. To learn more about the book, visit the book's website at

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