Thursday, December 2, 2010

Hero's Tribute

Hero's Tribute
Graham Garrison


This is one of the best books I have ever read.

Graham has taken a fresh approach to eulogies -- having a reporter who knows only the 'buzz' around the town hero dig into the past to present the true picture of his life. Who is a person really? No one is who he or she seems. We are each a hero or villain to different people in our lives, but no one can see all aspects of us except God. What drives us to do what we do?

This book is easy to read, the characters are designed so the reader cares about them, and the story line is provocative. But if you let this book touch your heart, it will have you looking differently at the people you meet, and yourself, for the rest of your life.

You can buy a copy of the book on Amazon (but hurry -- as of today there are only two copies left!)


Michael Gavin was a local hero, admired for his skill as a quarterback, his service in the military, and his work in the community. Stricken with cancer and on his death bed, Michael takes a leap of faith and entrusts his legacy to Wes Watkins, a reporter he’d never met, by asking him to deliver his eulogy.

Wes accepts this unconventional offer, hoping to at least get a good story out of the situation. A good story will draw the attention of big-city newspapers and get him out of his small-town sports beat. But as Wes digs deeper into Michael’s background, everything changes. Secrets come to light, and soon Wes sees the hometown hero as he really is. As Wes tries to find the words to describe Michael, he is also forced to examine his own life and decide what will define him.


Graham Garrison is the author of two published books – “Hero’s Tribute” and “Groomed: From Proposal To Vows, Wedding Planning And An Engagement From A Groom’s Point of View.” He is currently the managing editor for three magazines published by a healthcare communications company and is also a writer/editor for two other publications. He’s written for almost a half dozen newspapers and two dozen magazines, including America’s Civil War, Boating World, Georgia Physician and Repertoire.

Graham has lived in almost a dozen towns, five states (Alabama, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina and Washington) and one army base (Fort Bragg, N.C.). He’s grown roots in Johns Creek, Ga., with his wife Katie, sons Nicholas and Nolan, and Baxter the Beagle. He and his family worship at Mount Pisgah United Methodist Church. He is a Florida Gator by birth, but a Georgia Bulldog by the grace of God.


What was your favorite book as a child?

As a kid I didn’t read all that much – was into sports and toys and comics. But I do remember getting into Indian in the Cupboard – reading all of those books in a pretty short period of time.

What values from your favorite childhood book do you see played out in your life today?

Well if anything it highlighted just how active of an imagination I have, and more importantly, to think of that as a strength and not a weakness. Indian in the Cupboard really preached empathy and understanding for others, considering their story, and hey – maybe that snuck into Hero’s Tribute!

Many people want to write a book. What drove you to go beyond that 'Gee, I think I could' stage and got you to the point of being a published author?

I had some advantages working for me. I got my start in newspapers, writing every day, and my full-time job now is editing for magazines. So I’m constantly writing/editing/reworking articles. Plus, it’s almost a sort of release to get the ideas down on paper, so they weren’t bugging me in the back of my mind.

Were there any surprises for you in the book writing/publishing process? If so, what were they?

Writing a book felt like building a house – then when you want to sell it, you have no idea if anyone would be interested. From start to finish it was a four-year journey. Patience was important. And after the book is published, it’s a whole new world of learning that you need to try and connect with potential readers, get your idea out there.

This book causes us to look beyond our impressions of others, good or bad, and try to understand a theme behind their actions. If someone were to write a eulogy of your life, what theme would he or she uncover?

I would hope it would be the ability to forgive, and understand my need for forgiveness. But that was something I wanted to address with the “stranger gives eulogy” twist – we can’t control what others think of us, so what would they see?

Last question -- maybe the toughest! What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

Double Fudge Chocolate Brownie. And if there was a triple fudge, I’d probably like that a little bit more.

You can read more about Graham at his website.