Now, don’t break out the tissues, I’m not writing to report a death but to explain why the author credit in the upcoming 47North editions of the “Man of War” books is different from that of the self-published editions. The self-published books are by “H. Paul Honsinger & Harvey G. Phillips” while the new editions are by “H. Paul Honsinger,” a fact which might prompt some people to ask “what happened to Harvey G. Phillips?”
Nothing, actually. I am Harvey G. Phillips.
Here’s what happened. I am not the first author in our household. In September 2012 when I sat down to start writing the story that grew into To Honor You Call Us, my wife, Kathleen, was already a successful self-published writer and, in fact, was doing well enough that we were able to close The Law Offices of H. Paul Honsinger without any decline in our standard of living. She wrote, and still writes, under the pseudonym Laura Jo Phillips. It was important at that time to keep her career as a novelist under wraps because her books have some rather racy content that we thought folks should not associate with a law office that did a lot of child custody and other family law work. I was deeply involved in this enterprise as Kathy’s editor and was known to her fans through her blog, web site, and Facebook pages, as Harvey G. Phillips.
Accordingly, when it came time to publish To Honor You Call Us I wanted my own name on the book, but we also wanted to try to get some small boost from my association with the Laura Jo Phillips books. Kathleen and I bounced ideas around for how to accomplish this and we came up with the idea of me being a co-author with myself–of publishing under my real name AND my pseudonym.
Then, much to my surprise, To Honor You Call Us and For Honor We Stand became hits and 47North knocked on my door seeking to publish the trilogy. Early on, we came to the joint decision that there was no longer any need for “Harvey G. Phillips.” He had served his purpose of helping my work obtain a little bit of initial visibility. Now, with Amazon marketing the books, there was no need for the Laura Jo Phillips connection. Further, having the name of a non-existent person on the cover page might muddy the waters, especially if the books became well known and interviews, public appearances, and books signings ensued. People would wonder where Harvey was, and might suspect some nefarious conspiracy when he could not be found. Everyone thought it better if the 47North editions were credited only to H. Paul Honsinger.
By the way, the “H.” in “H. Paul Honsinger” stands for Harvey, which is an old family name–for six generations my family named its first born sons Harvey Gilbert or Harvey Paul, alternating generations. So, my father was Harvey G. Honsinger. Having the name “Harvey G. Phillips” on the cover was a good way of having him along for the ride. He was a novelist, too, although his books did not find the success that mine have enjoyed. He’s along for the 47North editions, too. If you look at the picture of me on this site (which is the picture of me published in the 47North books), you can see that I am wearing a string tie with a star-shaped slide. That slide is a genuine antique Texas Rangers badge, cut from a silver Mexican coin, that I inherited from my father. According to family tradition, one of my father’s ancestors (on his mother’s side–the Barbers from Mont Belvieu or “Barber’s Hill” Texas) was a Ranger.
And, as mentioned in the Acknowledgements to For Honor We Stand, my main protagonist’s nickname, “The Swamp Fox,” was my father’s citizen’s band radio “handle.”
I miss him terribly, and I wish he had lived to see all of this happen. If you are interested in learning more about this colorful and talented man, you can read my memorial remarks about him here: http://paulhonsinger.blogspot.com/2012/04/eulogy-for-harvey-g-honsinger.html. I also made a different and shorter set of remarks at his interment. You can read those here: http://paulhonsinger.blogspot.com/2012/04/graveside-remarks-for-harvey-g.html.
Harvey G. Honsinger also has one novel in print. You can read more about it and, if you are interested, purchase your copy here: http://www.amazon.com/Fire-Hair-Harvey-Honsinger/dp/1466368373/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1391894045&sr=1-1.