I endeavor to keep my FAQs up-to-date as well as add new ones. I receive many questions on U-Boats, the German Navy, the Third Reich, World War Two, as well as questions about myself. Many of these questions are the same. Because I haven’t the time to personally answer each email I receive, I use my FAQs to answer the most common inquiries:
Are you planning to write a sequel to An Honorable German?
I was so focused on getting the novel published that I never thought about a sequel. Perhaps there will be one. If I say anymore, I might give the story away, so I won’t.
What happened to the lesser characters?
I don’t want to give any of the story away so I won’t name any of the “supporting cast”. Suffice it to say the novel is a complete story as written.
Are you working on another novel?
I am working on a proposal for another novel. My agent will show that to publishers and since I have already published a novel, publishers will buy the novel based on the proposal.
Are you a Veteran?
I have great respect for the men and women who have served or are serving in the military although I personally have not served in the military. The realism present in my stories is from my extensive research and immersion in the subject combined with my imagination.
How do you know so much about German World War II history?
I read my first book on U-Boats when I was a junior in high school and have been at it ever since. My late parents had an extensive library and there was plenty of history to keep me occupied from an early age. I studied European history in college. So my knowledge of military history is from a lifetime of reading, research, and interest. I’ve climbed all over warship museums such as the USS Alabama to get the feel of a big ship. I’ve toured U-505 and have been aboard warships from the days of sail such as HMS Victory as well as aboard boats of various types from the war.
I have spent time in many World War Two archives just reading though anything that seemed of interest. I have read thousands of articles written during the war years from the archives of the New York Times, which are online. I’ve read countless magazine articles, collections of letters, books, and novels written during the war itself. I have bought songbooks issued to German soldiers and sailors during the war, read magazines given to German armed forces, bought numerous books on the German navy written during the war. I am deeply fortunate to have met a brilliant German historian and veteran of 34 years in the modern day German Navy who shared his immense knowledge of the German navy of the war years with me. I’ve watched documentaries of every sort. And I have interviewed and talked with countless veterans of World War Two.
At my age, 54, I’m from the generation who grew up with fathers who had served in the war. “What did your dad do in the war?” was a common question when I was a youth. My father was a gunnery officer in the U.S. Navy and was aboard the USS Indianapolis which left Pearl Harbor on 6 December 1941, the only ship to leave Pearl Harbor the day the surprise attack by the Japanese on 7 December 1941---“a date which will live in infamy” as President Franklin Roosevelt said in his speech to the Congress the next day asking them to declare war on Japan. They did so with only one dissenting vote.
Curiously, the Congress only declared war on Japan. We did not declare war on Germany until Hitler declared war on the United States on 11 December 1941. That was a mistake. Less than three and one half years later, American GIs pissed into the Rhine River—Germany’s western border. And as soon as his military leaders felt it safe enough, Winston Churchill traveled to the Rhine and pissed in it as well.
How many books have you read on the subject?
At last count, my assistant Tad counted 1352 books on my book shelves and this only includes books I’ve acquired in the last 10 years during which time I’ve spent over $25,000 on books! Adding in the books from the 20 years before that as well as the books that I read ‘on location’ in the various archives, I’m sure that I’m safe saying that I’ve read ‘thousands.’
Which books are worth the read?
World War Two was the largest single event in recorded human history. Words can’t do justice to the scope of the war. It was an epic of struggle and survival for hundreds of millions, of death for hundreds of millions more. For example, it’s now estimated that close to 1/8 of the population of the Soviet Union perished in the Second World War. That works out to a number from 30 million to 40 million human beings dead - Just one of the horrifying and truly cataclysmic results of the war.
On a subject as vast as World War Two, knowing which books are worth reading makes it all the more easier to comprehend the war-- to the degree any of us can comprehend such an event. That’s why I’m working on setting up a new section of my website where I will provide reviews of various books and provide links so you can easily purchase them. While I consider myself an expert in many areas of the Second World War, kindly note that my definition of expert is this: someone who has learned enough about a subject to know how much it is they don’t know.
Why do you have an assistant?
This might sound unusual, but it took me a long, long time to realize I could do something—write novels—which very few people could do. When one has an inborn talent for something, it’s hard to think of it as a special talent since it’s always been with you. And when I talk about a talent for writing novels I would clarify that by saying a talent to write novels only means you have the talent to teach yourself how to write a novel---a process which required years for me. The novel is one of the few art forms which is, and I think must be, self taught.
In my years as a management consultant, I always advised executives to do only those things which only they could do and delegate everything else. That’s why I hired Tad. I write the novels and he keeps everything organized, helps with research, checks my email, responds to inquiries, talks to people I don’t want to talk to, and spends a lot of time managing my website and all my online activities. My entire online footprint is actually based on a proposal Tad worked up. I read through it, thought it was great, and hired him on the spot to implement the plan.
All material on the site is thought to be in the public domain except for the work copyrighted by Charles McCain. If you feel that this is in error, email my assistant email@example.com.
I don’t like having too many rules from my younger years. However, some topics require some ground rules. This site will often deal with topics such as Hitler, Nazism, the Third Reich, and the terrible persecution of various groups targeted for murder by the Nazis including those of the Jewish faith, members of the Confessing Church, men and women who believed in democracy and free speech, gay men and women, intellectuals, and other controversial subjects associated with World War Two. Just to be perfectly clear, I despise all forms of totalitarianism including totalitarian states such as Nazi Germany and those in the present day such as North Korea.
There were honorable Germans in the Third Reich. Many thousands gave their lives fighting against Nazi tyranny. They deserved to be remembered and I will write about them. But there were plenty of Nazis, almost ten percent of the population of Germany belonged to the Nazi Party, and they committed crimes of such a shocking nature as to render one speechless.
The crimes they committed are well documented—by them. They were proud of murdering millions of innocent people. Were lots of Germans guilty of crimes against humanity? Yes, they were. In my opinion, we didn’t prosecute nearly enough war criminals at the Nuremberg Tribunal. Many more should have been tried and hanged. And by the way, the Holocaust happened in all of its horror. If you are a Holocaust denier then you are an illiterate fool. Go somewhere else – hell, for instance.
This website is a forum for academic discussion not inflammatory remarks or hate speech. If you wish to express such vile opinions, don’t bother. Since this blog is moderated, your comments will never appear. Finally, I’m not the main character or any of characters in my novel and none of the characters express my personal opinions so kindly don’t confuse the novel with the novelist. That people find my work realistic, including people who lived through the Third Reich, served on U-Boats, and fought in the German Army, is a testament to my skill as a novelist and not my political or moral beliefs. Murder mystery writers are not murderers.