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Fiction Rooted In Reality

Jacob Paul Patchen Author Interview

No Pistol Tastes the Same follows a military veteran who is struggling with PTSD as he tries to repair his relationship his son, his wife amid earths impending doom. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

As a veteran who has battled the effects of PTSD and had friends who lost that battle, it was important for me to write a story that confronted the topic. I think PTSD is something worthy of a tale like this, fiction rooted in reality, to bring awareness, change, understanding, and maybe even hope to those affected by its symptoms.

Sergeant JP Grimm is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind his character’s development?

I think JP has a lot of myself in him. While a lot of my characters do, I think for JP, I really wanted the reader to see the mental struggle that plagues someone with PTSD. At the surface, he is a self-destructing character who is also destroying the one thing he cares so much about: his family. But on a deeper level, we can see the inner-workings of a tormented man, husband, and father that wants to fight his fight alone and his way, not passing his burden on to the ones he loves. But in his stubbornness to stand in the fire alone, ultimately, it’s his family that gets burned.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

The mental struggle that comes with PTSD. The destructive phases that were prevalent in my own struggles with PTSD and alcoholism. The metaphor of PTSD being this slow-burn, apocalyptic disaster that if left unchecked can truly destroy the world you’re living in. Humanity. The bond and strength of family. The stigma that tough men often face when it comes to mental health and the barriers that get in the way of them seeking help.

What can readers expect in book two of your PTSD Disaster series?

Book 2 will see the characters trying to survive in their new apocalyptic world. We’ll see healing and hurting. PTSD still ravaging the Grimm family, but in ways the reader may not have expected. The reader will also see the darker side of PTSD (formed from my own thoughts and experiences) where JP and Sgt. Grimm will teeter on the edge of becoming this viscous beast bent on protecting his family at all costs and the loving, caring, funny, personable human being he once was before the war.

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JP’s pistol tastes like bourbon.

Sergeant JP Grimm didn’t pull the trigger. Now his Marine brothers are dead. All victims of a child in a suicide vest…a child that resembled Sgt. Grimm’s very own. But how are you supposed to take a child’s life? How can you kill someone that looks just like your own son?

Those same hazel eyes he saw in his scope continue to haunt him long after he left the desert death lands as he tries to reconnect with his son, Adin. JP battles another war at home against PTSD and the worthless, dejected thoughts that he is the reason his friends are dead. His wife, Lisa, struggles to let her stubborn husband work it out on his own terms. She does all she can to give him space, support, and strength—but her love can only go so far.

As the world shows signs of impending doom from a weakening magnetic field and flaring sun, JP, too, shows signs of his own impending doom. After pushing everyone away, JP must face his nightmares to restore his relationship with his son, save his marriage, and save himself before the modern world burns out in a fiery, electromagnetic disaster.

No Pistol Tastes the Same

Sgt. Grimm (J.P) opts to serve his country. Away from his family, he takes solace in the camaraderie of his fellow Marines, including Joey, his best friend. But it all goes wrong when Grimm loses his friend and other men he could have saved if he had acted faster. The patriotic soldier later returns from the war into the arms of his wife, son, and grandparents. But burdened by guilt and haunted by the bombs, blood, and deaths from the war, Grimm is not the same man he was when he left home. And his new demons threaten to tear apart everything and everyone he calls home. The question is, will he let them?

Although its curious title doesn’t give this away, No Pistol Tastes The Same is a gripping novel on post-traumatic stress disorder among veterans. It peels away the layers of unfamiliarity and reveals the deeply disturbing and lingering effects war has on the minds and lives of those who fight in it.

This story reminds me of why storytelling is a powerful tool to evoke empathy. Author Jacob Paul Patchen’s writing successfully transports readers into his main character’s reality, making an unfamiliar situation seem like a shared reality. Patchen is also great with imagery as he improves the reading experience with evocative descriptions of settings.

The story is delivered with the elegance and precision of a true wordsmith. Make no mistake, there aren’t flowery words or unclear metaphors. Instead, readers feel the total weight of a narrative cobbled with tools whose sophistication is in their cultured simplicity. The writing is so good that it strikes the heart where it matters in many places, ensuring that you feel the raw emotions being communicated. Altogether, the story is free-flowing, mainly punctuated by the moments of reflection and concern it triggers.

No Pistol Tastes the Same is a captivating war novel dealing with life after returning from war. The plot is pretty straightforward but excellently executed. The characters are relatable and make readers care about this remarkable story.

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