Once upon a time when I was younger, I had a best friend. We both lived in southern California and got married within a short time, serving as each others’ bridesmaids. My friend married a sweet, goofy (going by his jokes, anyway) guy named Jim.
My husband Clete and I moved away to Oregon, and we had only minimal contact with the Pratts for many years. Clete and I started a publishing business, and we attended the LDS Booksellers convention every year in the Salt Lake City, Utah area. One year when my teenage daughter came with me to help with our booth, she went wandering around to look at other booths, and she returned, saying that some guy in another booth said he knew me. I therefore wandered over there, and was shocked to see Jim there, signing books! My first thought was, “Goofy Jim wrote a book?”
As an author and publisher, I have often been asked by friends and acquaintances to read their books. Very few are any good, in fact they are usually cringe-worthy, and I’ve had to use my imagination to avoid hurting their feelings without lying to them. “Wow, your book was so very interesting….” Jim gave me a free book and signed the inside. The book was called “The Last Valentine,” and Jim had self-published it.
I went home and read it, not expecting much. To my surprise, it was excellent! Not only did I love it, but so did a ton of other people. It became a best seller and has been made into a Hallmark movie as The Lost Valentine, with Jennifer Love Hewitt and Betty White. The story is about a wife who waited for her WWII soldier sweetheart for fifty years, until she miraculously received a last valentine from him. There’s also a modern-day romance between a reporter and the son of the soldier.
James Michael Pratt has written several other books since that first one, and you can see them on Amazon or go to his website at www.jamesmichaelpratt.com. His books are inspirational and they’ve always made me cry (not that easy). Several are based on WWII events. Jim’s books include DAD – The Man Who Lied to Save the Planet; MOM – The Woman Who Made Oatmeal Stick to My Ribs; Paradise Bay; The Christ Report; The Good Heart; The Lighthouse Keeper; Ticket Home; and As a Man Thinketh, In His Heart. He’s working on another book, When the Last Leaf Falls, and Wikipedia says he has some more titles being developed for film. Jim is also politically active, writing for conservative political blogs such as the Daily Caller and Red State. See his Facebook page here.
Once when I saw him at another convention, Jim pulled out a photo of his wife (my friend) from his wallet, and said something like, “She’s just as beautiful as the day I met her.” I think they’d been married for maybe 20 years at that point, and she was indeed still beautiful. More husbands should talk about their wives like that. Did I say he was sweet?
This is the real Jim Pratt. I don’t know who
that other dude is who shows up on searches….