April 5th bears great historical significance to Sean Davis, author of Ooligan Press’s latest title, The Wax Bullet War: Chronicles of a Soldier & Artist. It is the date he joined the regular army, and the date his unit—Bravo Company 2/162 infantry—prepared for air assault missions around their base in Taji, Iraq. Now it is the date he began his cross-country book tour for The Wax Bullet War, a road trip that took him from Portland, OR to the Midwest and back.
Sean departed from Portland on the 5th, documenting his travels via pictures and regular updates to his personal blog (thewaxbulletwar.com). He drove east on I84 toward Utah, a scenic experience that he compared to “driving through deep space,” and stayed with friends in preparation for his first event on April 7 at Alleged, a bar/club in Ogden. Normally closed on Sundays, Alleged opened its doors to the public for Sean’s reading, and there he read from the chapter “Cradle of Civilization.” Among the people in attendance was Field Artillery 1SG Byron Hicks, who drove half an hour for the event and now plans to include The Wax Bullet War on his reading list for his NCOs. Hicks was not the only person who was impressed; Sean ended up selling the entire box of books he brought with him to the bar.
To arrive in time for the April 10 event at the Fox Valley Book Festival in Appleton, Wisconsin, Sean drove for 28 hours through Wyoming, Nebraska, and Iowa, marveling at the sedimentary rock formations and the strange beauty of Iowa rest stops along the way. The Fox Valley Book Festival itself is a 7-day extravaganza held throughout the Fox Cities communities, and Sean’s event was a reading/craft talk, both well-publicized and well-attended. The following day, Sean read at the Appleton Library (another book festival event) and continued selling and signing the books he had left. On April 12, Sean received an email from a Vietnam veteran who attended the event. He thanked Sean both for his service and for his “captivating” and “true-to-life” stories. Sean is currently working to include one of the veteran’s stories in an upcoming anthology.
Sean’s final book reading took place April 14 at Beaverdale Books in Des Moines, Iowa, but perhaps the most sobering part of the trip took place before that, when he and a friend went to a place near the Capitol building where there were a series of statues memorializing the veterans of all U.S. wars. Later he visited the history museum, which had a display of uniforms and weapons from the Revolutionary War. Of this trip, Sean said, “I’ve studied history before, but for some reason, today, I suddenly couldn’t understand how or why the human animal has been at war each other since the beginning for time.”
Although he has returned to Portland since, Sean has no plans to stop promoting The Wax Bullet War. Upcoming events include a reading at St. Clair Community College in Port Huron, Michigan and a reading at Powell’s in downtown Portland.
For more information on Sean’s public events, please visit his author Facebook or his website, thewaxbulletwar.com, and for updates on the progress of Sean’s book, please visit the Ooligan Press website.