Soldier writes books to help family cope with separation during deployment

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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT)- A Huntsville National Guard Captain shared a special afternoon with family and friends Saturday- as he celebrated the launch of a book that helped his family cope while he was deployed overseas.

J.D. Manders didn't intend to publish his books- he wrote the first while he was deployed in 2004, and sent chapters at a time to let his children know he was thinking about them.

"Fairytales have are effective at helping people to deal with separation issues. Because it takes you away from your ordinary life into a fantasy land. You know all fairytales have a happy ending, and so it really helps you to understand that things are going to turn out alright in the end," says Manders.

Since publishing, Manders has received positive feedback from other military families who have to deal with the absence of a parent.

"I've been able to help myself, by helping others. I'm happy to help military service members, as well as other people I've talked to, people who are divorced who are separated from a father or mother."

Manders will have a book launch and signing at Lowe Mill on December 19th, with his first book The Fairy Child and his most recent book The Mermaid's Quest available for purchase.

"It's been a real blessing to be able to help other people through my work, and through my writing,” says Manders.

Manders wanted the publishing efforts to be a family affair, and received help from his children and their friends with the illustrations, as well as the editing.