Casemate is pleased to announce that HOLY WARS: 3000 Years of Battles in the Holy Land is now available. We caught up with author Gary Rashba to find out a little more about him and this important new book…..
When did you first realize that you wanted to become a writer?
It just sort of happened! While serving in the Israel Defense Forces, I was having so many strange and unique experiences as the only American in a unit comprised nearly exclusively of Russian immigrants, that I began jotting down anecdotes, and these came together into an article. While searching for a publisher, I was invited to write an article about one of the battles Israel has fought. After that first battle article was published, I wrote another. And another, and it began shaping up into a book.
Do you have any advice for budding military history authors wanting to get published?
Start by finding something that fascinates you, as you must be intrigued to get excited about the project. Your writing hobby has to be a passion, a labor of love, in order for you to truly give it your all.
How much research did you do for the book? Can you give us some tips on this?
There is a great deal of information available on-line, but nothing can replace old-fashioned research at a good library. The internet is a great source for references and finding out who the subject experts are—some of whom, in my case, were willing to meet or talk with me to share their knowledge.
Why did you decide to write this book? What prompted you to put this story down on paper?
It happened one chapter at a time, with me jumping around from one period to another as I learned about particular battles, became fascinated by their story and decided to write about them. When I published some of my work in magazines, I discovered there is a wide audience eager to read the history in the way I was presenting it.
What do you like most about your book? Why should we read it?
I like that it covers such a broad swath of history, from the Bible up through modern times, including the less covered 1300 years comprising the Arab, Mamluk and Ottoman periods. With such a wide perspective, the book shows how despite all the years, little has changed: many tactics and strategies remain the same, transcending time. And it also reminds us that the Holy Land has been the scene of conflict for millennia, with today’s Arab-Israeli dispute just the latest round.
What are you working on at the moment?
Writing some articles on various military and aviation history topics I’ve encountered over the past years yet haven’t had a chance to write about.
Thank you, Gary for taking the time to talk to us!