For the City Times
The courage and sacrifice of a soldier and his scout dog during wartime is the focus of a new young adult fiction novel from Cornerstone Press at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
A student-staffed publishing house, Cornerstone Press will launch its newest book, “Stay!,” at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 24, at the North Laird Room of the Dreyfus University Center. Open to the public free of charge, the event will include a reading by author D.K. Wells, a meet and greet and refreshments. The book will be available for purchase at the event, at the University Bookstore and online at www.uwsp.edu/cornerstone.
“This has been an amazing opportunity to delve into every aspect of the editing and publishing process,” said Allison Kelley, a communication major from Machesney Park, Ill., who is the project’s marketing director. “Many of us want to be in this industry upon graduation so it’s the best way for us to get our foot in the door and showcase our skills in specific areas.”
“STAY!” tells the story of 18-year-old Ray Merriweather and his scout dog, Ike, in 1968 during the peak of the Vietnam War. Scout dogs were donated to the war effort by American families with the promise that they would return home, but the U.S. Army had no intention of bringing them back to the states. As the story unfolds the real question arises: Will Ike come home?
“STAY!” was not to echo history, Wells said, but to honor her enduring love for the dogs of Vietnam in her debut fiction novel. All proceeds from the book will be donated the Vietnam Dog Handlers Association (VDHA), of which she has been a member for more than 10 years. Organized in 1993 by six Vietnam veteran war dog handlers, VDHA seeks to reunite veteran dog handlers, memorialize the dogs, document the history of war dogs and educate others about their work. More information is at www.vdha.us.
Wells lives in Stevens Point and teaches at Northcentral Technical College in Wausau. She has written several non-fiction books, publications and journals and was a syndicated columnist for the Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk.
Established in 1984, Cornerstone Press has published 35 titles in every major genre. It is staffed by students in an editing and publishing course that operates with the support of the English Department.