Adam Makos to hold book signing at Otto Bookstore

Author and Montoursville native Adam Makos will make an appearance 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at Otto Book Store, 107 W. Fourth St.

The New York Times best-selling author will sign copies of “Voices of the Pacific: Untold Stories from the Marine Heroes of World War II.”

Co-authored with Marcus Brotherton, the book follows Makos’ “A Higher Call,” which he described as a story of “chivalry and mercy.”

” ‘Voices of the Pacific’ is a very different book from ‘A Higher Call.’

“It’s proof that all war stories don’t have a happy ending, yet they can still be incredibly powerful,” Makos said.

Makos’ grandfathers both served during World War II, something that he said inspired him to take interest in the “black and white era of theirs.”

In doing so, Makos discovered the greatest generation at an early age.

He’s been writing World War II stories since he attended Montoursville Area Middle School.

Makos recommends “Voices of the Pacific” for mature readers who aren’t looking for a happy ending, but instead want a read that will “shake their foundation and leave them in awe of the heroes who won World War II.”

In fact, when Makos and Brotherton interviewed the Marines who appear in the book, one request was that the respondents told their stories as it truly happened.

“No need to mask the horrors of war and humor, or to skip over certain memories in favor of light-hearted tales of brotherhood,” a release said. “With unflinching honesty, these men reveal harrowing accounts of combat with an implacable enemy, the friendships and camaraderie they found and lost within their companies and the aftermath of the war’s impact on their lives.”

The book, he said, was the perfect follow up to “A Higher Call” because of its contrast.

“The air war was violent yet impersonal, fought in the clean, cold heavens,” Makos said. “The ground war on the islands that we show in ‘Voices of the Pacific’ is as violent and personal and dirty as war can be. And that stark contrast will leave you gasping for air as you turn the pages.

It’s not an easy read, but it’s a read that will make your problems seem small and your life seem really soft and good in comparison. The Marines in ‘Voices of the Pacific’ will inspire you.”

When Makos began writing the book, he said he was on a quest to find stories that could provide the meat of the book that he compares to a crab cake, judged by the amount of meat to filling.

He found 15 World War II Marines and asked them to share the stories they never told their children or grandchildren.

“You get the last word, we told them. What do you want the world to hear, what bravery did you witness? What tragedy? What stories did you always hold back?” Makos said.

And what he got, he said, were veterans who provided more than enough meat for his proverbial crab cake.

“It sounds silly,” he added, “but it’s just like walking into the kitchen late at night and finding your father or grandfather and his war buddies sitting around a table beneath a dim light, swapping stories they’d only tell one another. Except this time, you get to listen in silence, in awe.”

“Voices of the Pacific” will be released Tuesday.

Makos said he can only hope he gets the shock of success with his latest book. “A Higher Call” has been on the list for nine weeks, but he gives credit to the characters for creating the compelling stories.

“The book’s heroes, Franz and Charlie, lived incredible lives,” Makos said. “They gave me an epic story to tell, a gift. As people spread the world of the book, which has happened – word of mouth is carrying the book – they’re really saluting Franz and Charlie and their story.”

As such, Makos takes a backseat to the characters in “Voices of the Pacific.”

“My writing is minimal filling just to set up the chapters,” he said. “The veterans provide the meat and this book is all meat.”