Success Insider: Military Historian and Author Mike Guardia



Mike Guardia is the internationally recognized and award-winning author of the non-fiction books, “Hal Moore: A Soldier Once…and Always,” “American Guerrilla: The Forgotten Heroics of Russell W. Volckmann,” “Shadow Commander: The Epic Story of Donald D. Blackburn,” “The Fires of Babylon: Eagle Troop and the Battle of 73 Easting,” “Hal Moore on Leadership: Winning When Outgunned and Outnumbered,” “Crusader: General Donn Starry and the Army of His Times,” and “Hal Moore: A Life in Pictures.” More at


So what does it take to be a successful in the world of military history, writing and publishing? Listen to our Big Blend Radio discussion with Mike Guardia and read his answers to our 10 Military History Author Insider Questions about his career, including the challenges he faces, as well as his inspirations.

1. What led you to a career in being a military historian and author?
Well, I’ve always been fascinated by history and, from a young age, I wanted to serve in the military.  History and English were always my favorite subjects in school, both of which lent themselves to a LOT of writing.  I had some great teachers and college professors who helped refine my abilities as a writer.

2. What attributes do you have that make you a good fit for being a military history author?
I think it definitely helps if you’ve served in the military.  Granted, that’s not a prerequisite – you don’t have to serve in the military to be a good military historian.  There are plenty of great military historians who’ve never worn the uniform (Stephen Ambrose, for example).  I just think that military service helps give you a deeper perspective.

3. Who or what inspires you?
My daughters inspire me daily.

4. Describe your ideal reader.
My ideal reader is anyone who enjoys military history or who enjoys reading a good story based on reality.  Anyone who enjoys a good tale of what the spirit of man can accomplish when the “chips are down” and the odds are stacked against you.

5. What is your pet peeve in regards to the publishing / writing industry?
I feel that mainstream publishing has become a bit too exclusionary.  There are many great writers whom, in my opinion, are unfairly “screened out” of the mainstream publishing process by literary agents and brick-and-mortar publishing houses.  Granted, I’ve published with traditional publishing houses (and I’ve had a good experience doing so), but there can be little argument that many self-published authors are getting better returns on their investment by using CreateSpace, IngramSpark, and Kindle Direct Publishing.  Notable examples are Nick Stephenson, Bob Mayer, and Mark Dawson.

6. What personal changes have you had to make in order to build your career?
Well, I’ve had to up my caffeine intake, for starters <grins>.  I’ve also learned not to take rejection personally and use critiques (even harsh and sometimes unwarranted critiques) to refine my craft.

7. What do you consider your biggest challenge?
Trying not to “second guess” myself after finishing every manuscript.

8. If you could invite any three people (alive or passed on) for a dinner party who would they be?
My deceased grandfather; great-uncle; and great-grandfather.  All three men were upstanding gentlemen and a force for good.

9. If you could switch careers for a day (just to learn something new), what would you choose?
Astronaut.  I always thought it would be a thrill to fly in outer space.

10. What is the most important tip you would pass on to another person just getting started in the world of being a military historian / author
I would say (1) keep a positive outlook, (2) never quit on your dream, and (3) take every opportunity to learn and grow from those who have been in the industry for a while.

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About the Author:

Mike Guardia is a internationally-recognized and award-winning author and a military historian.

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