Hearing Gunshots? Bill Blaylock Signs Book Deal with Pretty Road Press for Memoir on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder; Release Date Set for Veterans Day 2013

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June is PTSD Awareness Month and Pretty Road Press has used the opportunity to sign a book deal with author and Vietnam War veteran William J. Blaylock for his manuscript "Invisible: Living with PTSD's Unseen Wound," a memoir about his struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder, a condition affecting up to 20 percent of Irag War vets and 20 percent of Vietnam War vets.

Attention, motorists. The driver in front of you may be hearing gunshots.

The traffic light is red. You don’t hear the loud bangs because you do not have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but veteran Bill Blaylock does. He has written about what life is like living with the consequences of war.

The independent Folsom publisher Pretty Road Press inked a book deal with Blaylock this week to publish the book revealing his stormy history in dealing with the common disorder that affects up to 20 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and 30 percent of Vietnam veterans.

“I hear a sudden, loud crack,” Blaylock writes. “I can hear and feel the wind of the bullet pass by my left ear. I know without a doubt that one was meant for me. Someone is actually trying to kill me. 'Snipers in the trees! Fire.'”

But then the traffic light turns green. The car behind honks. It was a flashback. Blaylock returns his attention to traffic. He moves his car forward, but he feels stress the remainder of the day.

His disorder was initially invisible, even to Blaylock himself, but looking back, the Vietnam veteran now realizes how the trauma of war invaded his life. The anxieties contributed to the failure of a marriage. The malady permeated all his relationships. He went through 36 different jobs, but finally he got help.

“Bill shares his struggles through much of his post-Vietnam adult life without ever realizing that he had been injured by his experience in Vietnam,” says retired Maj. Gen. James W. Hopp in a forward to the book. “He reveals how it took a friend, who also had PTSD, to convince him that he, too, was injured and that he needed to seek medical help if he was ever going to recover.”

Blaylock’s working title is “Invisible: Living with PTSD’s Unseen Wound.” The book starts with his role in a 1968 gun battle in Rockpile, Vietnam, when troops are taking fire. Blaylock is in the thick of it. The thick never thinned. Decades later, anxiety was still forcing the veteran to regularly check the perimeter of his home to ward off his anxiety.

He did not write the book as therapy, Blaylock said, but he did find that his writing turned out to be therapeutic.

“I hope this story helps others,” he said. “No one else should have to wait decades for help, and the families of people with PTSD need to understand how the perils of war affect everyday relationships with their loved ones.”

Blaylock, 65, is a resident of El Dorado Hills, Calif., enjoys membership with the American Legion and serves with Dusters, Quads and Searchlights Association, a charity for disabled military personnel and their families.

Pretty Road Press plans to release the book so that it coincides with Veterans Day, November 11, 2013. The book website is http://www.invisiblePTSD.com and it offers readers the opportunity to sign up for bonus content and pre-release discounts.

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