Former Hyde County resident publishes historical bio

Published 7:29 pm Wednesday, March 11, 2015


Special to the Daily News

It took Washington, North Carolina first-time author Phil Emmert twelve years to write his first book, When War Was Heck, which was published in late 2014. But he has speeded things up considerably as the sequel, The Afterglow of War: Lessons Learned, hit the bookstores in March 2015.

Emmert, has pastored churches in Hyde and Tyrrell Counties. He also taught middle and high school and worked with the Department of Social Services in Hyde County. Currently married to the former Beatrice (Bea) O’Neal, he has four children, 11 grandchildren, three stepchildren and 4 step-grandchildren. They recently moved from the Makelyville community in Hyde County to Washington, NC.

When War Was Heck, was set in Boone County, Indiana during the mid-1940s with World War II utmost on everyone’s mind. It is the unique perspective of a 10-year old boy, William Henry, and is filled with bits of homespun humor and nostalgia. Written to appeal to the tween and teen audience, Emmert combined easy reading with history. In doing so, he also caught the attention of an older generation eager to revisit their own childhood memories with each turn of the page.

In The Afterglow of War: Lessons Learned, the second and final short storybook, William Henry faces his teenage years with the fervor of most kids that age, and all the joys, anxieties, and learning that come with them. When the first jet flies over his hometown in Indiana, he and his best friend Peanut are enthralled, a fitting introduction to the many changes their youthful eyes would soon witness in years to come. Now he, his family, and his friends — old and new — learn fresh lessons about life after the war. Some are typical experiences familiar to most kids, like driving a car, changing tires on the car, the woes and throes of puppy love, the language of golfing and secretly sipping on whiskey from the kitchen. But the greatest lesson for William Henry is realizing that opportunities are earned, and once earned, they are the most appreciated of gifts.

On March 23, Emmert will be interviewed live on the Winston-Salem, North Carolina radio station AM980, “The Eagle.” Listeners can tune in during the 9:30 to 10 a.m. segment with Bill Flynn, or listen to the segment streamed online at

Both books were edited and published by Jan Fix at Readers may order online at either or They are also available on eBook through all the usual retailers, including Amazon, B&N, Kobo, and Apple.