Amazon announced recently that Oregon Author and Wilson graduate Class of 1960, Brian D. Ratty’s, new historical-fiction novel, DUTCH, has become a quarterfinalist in Amazon’s 2009 Breakthrough Novel Awards. In early February 2009 over 9000 manuscripts were submitted worldwide, on March 17, 2009 the top quarterfinalists were selected in eight different categories. All the quarterfinalist manuscripts will be reviewed by Publishers Weekly with the finalist announced on April 15, 2009. The Penguin Group is also a co-sponsor for this contest. All quarterfinalists have a 5000 word excerpt posted at: www.amazon.com/abna.

“Being a professional photographer I had always wanted to do a story about combat photography so this was a great opportunity for me," states Brian. "But when I started doing the research I kept finding interesting information about OWI with all of it’s shady behind the scene activities. The further I went the more these two subjects just seemed to fit together so I developed my story around them both. To my knowledge this is the first novel about OWI and combat photography so it was challenge to research and write the story accurately. After completing the book, some three years later, I decided to dedicate it to all the men and women who gave their sweat and spilled their blood during the struggle of World War II. No greater generation ever walked the face of this Earth. We share our tomorrows because of their yesterdays.”

To read the excerpt for DUTCH click: www.amazon.com/dp/B001UG3AIC. Here is a short review of DUTCH: We all come into this world alone, and go out the same way. Between the coming and the going is life. This is a story about life, and how one year-long adventure defines the future of a reluctant young man named Dutch. Manipulated by the terms of his dead grandfather’s will, Dutch undertakes an ordeal in the rugged wilderness of British Columbia in 1941. Set against the opening days of World War II, this is a classic story of a young man’s personal struggle to come of age against all odds. Dutch begins his trek accompanied by his horse Blaze, two mules and a half-wild dog, Gus. As they pack into the remote Nascall Valley, he digs deep, learning courage, self-reliance and how to trust his animals’ instincts. On this trail, Dutch faces many obstacles, some life-threatening, some inspiring, all a challenge to his character and spirit. This poignant story is written in a powerful narrative style that draws the reader ever deeper, propelling them from one adventure to the next. It’s a story of redemption, love, birth and death, a heart-felt story that relates the events that shape its characters’ lives in an edge-of-your-seat survival saga. DUTCH is a story rooted in despair that blooms into hope.

Amazon Editorial Review: “I definitely want to get this book as it is very appealing to the nature lover in me. A young boy out on the rough seas in Alaska, a young man entering the wilderness with just two pack mules, a horse named Blaze and a wild dog named Gus, make for an exciting if not harrowing adventure novel. This excerpt is lyrical and lush with its descriptions. I can hear the breeze blowing through the trees or see the sun shining on a still sea when one first wakes up. The story-telling has a rhythm to it, soft and persuasive, humbling and invigorating. The story makes you want to read more ... how did Dutch know he was going to return to Ketchikan. The way the author described the captain of the fishing boat ... describing him as a man who fit the land, I could see it. This is one of the best excerpts I have yet to read and one story that I will be on the look-out for”.

Brian Ratty '60 writes: “Writing this series is a great adventure for me, as I don’t write for profit or praise; I just enjoy telling a good story. If others find Dutch’s chronicles interesting.  informative and entertaining, my rewards will have been realized.” An internationally known photographer and educator, author Brian D. Ratty '60 is a graduate of the Brooks Institute of Photography and holds an honorary Master of Science degree. He has authored many instructional DVDs, videos and magazine articles on photography. Brian is also the author of the award winning novel Dutch Clarke: The Wars Years (Finalist in ForeWord Magazine’s 2008 Book of the Year). For more information on the Dutch Clark series, visit www.DutchClarke.com.

"I have some very good memories of Wilson but the most important was taking a photography class with Robert White in my junior year," states Brian.  "Because of that class I fell in love with image making. Some years later, on this teacher's recommendations, I went to Brooks Institute of Photography in California and have been a professional photographer ever since. It has been an exciting and rewarding career and I owe my start to Wilson High School."

Congratulations Brian!