301: Writing Resilience | Andrew Coville

Andrew Coville’s Passage from Soldier to Storyteller


Every person’s life is a unique manuscript filled with triumphs and tribulations, a story that when shared can resonate, inspire, and reveal universal truths.

In this episode of the Authors Who Lead podcast, I talk with Andrew Coville, a former marine turned police officer turned author, about his powerful memoir “Summer 2009: A Journey of Self-discovery amidst the Afghanistan War.”

Through an intimate conversation that touches on themes of vulnerability, imposter syndrome, and the cathartic writing process, this episode offers listeners profound insights into the transformational power of storytelling.

Battling Imposter Syndrome

Many aspiring writers grapple with imposter syndrome, the insidious belief that one is not worthy of success or recognition. Andrew and I delve deep into this common struggle, discussing how it can be a barrier to sharing one’s work.

Andrew Coville’s journey illuminates the reality that even those with the most extraordinary life experiences can feel like they’re frauds in the literary world. His candid revelations underscore that taking the first step in writing and seeking feedback are key antidotes to these self-doubts.

From the Frontlines to Pages

Andrew’s memoir is a time capsule, transporting readers back to his deployment in Afghanistan in 2009. “Summer 2009” is derived from a journal Andrew kept, a 21-year-old’s account that balances the present perspective with raw past experiences.

He shares the arduous task of revisiting painful memories, highlighting the importance of preserving authenticity in storytelling. His decision to include vulnerable and gritty moments is intentional, a gesture meant to shatter any illusions about the glamorization of war and instead, shed light on its profound personal impacts.

A Voice Beyond Combat

The book and the podcast episode concentrate on the idea of military service and the broader human experiences that define us. Andrew talks about the challenges he faced in comprehending the meaning of his experiences and dealing with the transition back to civilian life.

He discusses the loss of his friend, Nick, and how the weight of such events can shape a person’s trajectory. The conversation serves as an important reminder that stories of conflict and courage can also be tales of introspection and emotional discovery.

A Shared Legacy – Military and Law Enforcement

Andrew Coville’s dual identities as a marine and a law enforcement officer offer a unique vantage point on trauma and camaraderie. The transition from the transitory brotherhood of the military to the continuous relationships in law enforcement exposes the varied manifestations of mental and emotional strain. These conversations reveal the intense personal cost of service and the lasting bonds formed through shared hardship.

Embracing the Writer Within

Amid the profound topics discussed, this episode is also a nod to aspiring authors, encouraging honest storytelling and perseverance. Andrew, though not traditionally trained in writing, stresses the significance of truthfulness and the desire to inspire others. He credits an op-ed about school shootings as his impetus to write, advocating that anyone can uncover a writer inside.

Marketing With Heart

Andrew and I not only discuss the intimate details of writing but also touch upon the practicalities of marketing a memoir. I provide advice on connecting with audiences beyond mere sales tactics, and they explore the challenges of garnering reviews and engaging with listeners. Andrew’s positive podcast experiences point to the value of sharing one’s story far and wide.

Join us again next week for more captivating insights from influential authors and publishing experts. Remember to subscribe to Authors Who Lead and visit our website for more show notes and past interviews.

That’s all for this week. If you have a message inside of you that needs to be written, today is the day to start. Don’t delay—take action.

Episode Resources

Connect with Andrew here:

Get a copy of Andrew’s book here:
Summer 2009: A Journey of Self-discovery amidst the Afghanistan War

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