Russellville author and historian Jeremy Amick recently released two new books — a military history book and a children's fairy tale.
"Rudy and the Snow Goblins," released last month, is Amick's first children's book. Recommended for children ages 5-12, it's a fairy tale adventure story that concludes with a positive message about the true value of friendship.
"I just really enjoyed it because — my wife will affirm — I'm a full-grown child," Amick said. "I remain young at heart, so it was fun to be able to do a story that can kind of speak to and connect to the younger generation."
Amick began writing this book about 10 years ago when his two sons were children and had an "Elf on the Shelf" named Rudy. The story follows the adventure of Chandler and Joey — based on Amick's sons with the same names — as they meet a magical elf named Rudy and come across a perceived nemesis — the Snow Goblins.
"To make a long story shorter, the boys come to find out that these perceived nemeses really aren't at all bad people," Amick said. "It's just really a fun story, and I had fun writing it."
Amick said he enjoyed writing something more loose and creative than his military history books, which are more strict and regimented.
"It was fun to be able to focus on something a little bit different than military history for a change," he said.
Writing this book has inspired Amick to write a second children's book he hopes to release next year, he said. The story will be about a different adventure Chandler and Joey embark on, the lessons they learn from it and the interesting characters they meet along the way.
"Missouri in World War I" is Amick's fifth Arcadia Publishing military history book. It was originally planned to release in early May, Amick said, but it was pushed to Aug. 3 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Amick, a military historian and former Missouri National Guardsman, did in-depth research about information he has collected throughout the years and wrote this book in about three months, he said.
"In doing all this research, I learned that Missouri played basically the leading role in World War I," Amick said.
For example, John J. Pershing, the commander of the American Expeditionary Forces, and Enoch Crowder, who constructed the draft, were from Missouri.
Limited to 18,000 words, Amick's biggest challenge when writing this book was staying under the word count, he said.
"It was a good problem to have," he said. "I broke it down into several interesting stories that demonstrate the role that Missouri played in World War I."
The book includes information on Medal of Honor recipients, the role the Missouri National Guard played in World War I and some of the monuments that came out of WWI.
"There's a lot of fascinating stories to share," Amick said.
"Missouri in World War I" and "Rudy and the Snow Goblins" are available at Barnes and Noble, Target and Amazon.
Locally, "Missouri in World War I" is available at Community Point Bank and The Covered Bridge Market in Russellville, and Downtown Books II and Carrie's Hallmark in Jefferson City. "Rudy and the Snow Goblins" is available at Samuel's Tuxedos and Downtown Books in Jefferson City.
Amick will have a book signing for "Missouri in World War I" from 10 a.m.-noon Aug. 22 at Samuel's Tuxedos. There will also be a signing for "Rudy and the Snow Goblins" in September at Downtown Books II, but the time and date are not yet finalized.