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Character Interview: Jedediah Worth from F.W. Abel’s historical novel Deeds of a Colored Solder during the Rebellion, Volume I: From the Beginning to Chickamauga

DeedsofaColoredSoldier_medWe’re thrilled to have here today Jedediah Worth from F.W. Abel’s historical novel, Deeds of a Colored Solder during the Rebellion, Volume I: From the Beginning to Chickamauga.  Jedediah is a 53 year old retired career soldier living in Langston City, OK.

It is a pleasure to have him with us today at Beyond the Books!

Thank you so for this interview, Jedediah.  Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers? 

The story was faithfully recorded as I told it, mistakes in memory and all.  I guess some mistakes with be made when a retired old man is telling his story beginning when he was 15 years old.  I give the book credit for correcting my mistakes of fact, not in my narrative, but in the Endnotes.

Do you feel the author did a good job colorizing your personality?  If not, how would you like to have been portrayed differently? 

Again, he recorded my story, pretty much as I related it to him.  I know my personality changed from the beginning of the book, when I was still a slave, to the end, after I had fought in a few battles.  Participation in war, as you may surmise, has a significant emotional impact on its participants.  I know I was quite naïve at the beginning of the book, especially in my acceptance of being a slave, to its end, when I would fight, and did fight, to end slavery and free all of my people.

What do you believe is your strongest trait? 

That I finally became honest with myself, and accepted that I could be killed.  Before that, like many young men, I thought I was immortal.  Being wounded, and captured, and almost being killed, affected me but did not, at least ultimately, bring me down.

Worse trait? 

Hatred.  At the beginning of the Southern Rebellion, I regarded myself as a Southerner, and had great regard for many Confederate soldiers, including my master who forced me to accompany him as his servant.

At the end of the war, I grew to hate the ex-Confederates, who lost the war yet still refused to recognize our hard-won freedom.  After enduring what we had endured, our sacrifices were in vain, and to right that, I couldn’t put down the gun.  That was the reason I had to go back into the army, on be posted on the frontier.  I was just too “uppity.”  If I stayed in the South, no doubt I would not have survived.

If you could choose someone in the television or movie industry to play your part if your book was made into a movie, who would that be (and you can’t say yourself!)? 

The old me, Denzel Washington.  I don’t know about me as a young man.

Do you have a love interest in the book? 

I did.  It was my first love.  I was barely 16, and had no idea what love was.  It didn’t work out.  We met before I became a soldier, and saw the horror of war.  She didn’t get over some romantic notions of what love should be.  She ended up marrying someone else.

At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?

I never really got nervous, because I knew how it would turn out.  Recall it was my story, told by me, in my own words.  If anything, telling the story forced me to relive all the regrets of my long life.

If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really not want to be and why? 

Martin Hawkins, not because he was a Confederate soldier, but because he was worthless as a soldier for his own side, and as a human being.  He shirked his fair share of soldiering, and was a coward to boot.

How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away? 

Really good.  I survived.

What words of wisdom would you give your author if s/he decided to write another book with you in it?

Keep writing exactly what I tell you, and you can’t go wrong.

Thank you for this interview, Jedediah.  Will we be seeing more of you in the future?

I hope so.  I already told the author what to write to get me through the end of the war and back into civilian life.

ABOUT THE ATHOR

F.W. Abel was born in the city of New York, long ago enough to have not even been a teenager at the beginning of the Civil War Centennial.  He escaped from Fordham University with a degree in psychology into the U.S. Army.  The army had him function as a psychologist for a while, until he escaped from that into “the real army” that is, the infantry.  After postings in Berlin, Tokyo and the southern United States, he left and became a junior executive in the insurance industry.  He now labors diligently for the American taxpayer as a federal bureaucrat.  He currently resides in a Maryland suburb of Washington, D.C.  As many of the most important battles of the Civil war was fought within a relatively short distance, he has taken advantage and visited most of them, as well as several in the so-called “Western Theater.”
Purchase the book on Amazon / Twilight Times Books / B&N

Character Interview: Maggie & Matty Becker from Alison Bruce & Kat Flannery’s historical romance, HAZARDOUS UNIONS

We’re thrilled to have here today Maggie and Matty from Alison Bruce and Kat Flannery’s new historical romance, Hazardous Unions. Maggie and Matty are twins sisters, age 18. They were separated by the Civil War. Maggie’s employer served with the Confederate Army. Matty’s employer stayed with the Union.

It is a pleasure to have them with us today at Beyond the Books!

Bruce-HU-400Thank you so for this interview, Maggie and Matty.  Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?

Maggie: First I would like to thank you for bringing us together, though I understand it is only temporary. It seems like an age since I saw Matty and I have missed her so much.

I suppose Miss Bruce was fair enough in her telling my story. I think she makes me seem as if I was more in charge of the situation than I really was. But then Captain Stone keeps saying I’m officer material and that’s plain silly.

Matty: Oh, yes thank you kindly for having my sister and I here. I’ve missed her so.

I’m quite satisfied with Miss. Flannery’s portrayal of me however, I do wish she’d have kept out the part where I drugged Colonel Black.

Do you feel the author did a good job colorizing your personality?  If not, how would you like to have been portrayed differently?

Maggie: Miss Bruce did a fine job, but I can’t help wondering why she thought I would make a good subject when the rich and beautiful Patience was also available.

Matty: I feel Miss. Flannery could’ve added more about how much I read. You know I love Mr. Poe, Mag and I really thought she could’ve added more about that.

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

Maggie: I’m practical. I’m not the sort of young lady requires men to lay down their cloaks so they can step over puddles.

Matty: I’m giving. Pa taught us to love one another.

Worse trait?

Maggie: I’m practical. I’m not the sort of young lady that lay their cloaks down for.

Matty: Well, if you read the book I have a tendency to over embellish the truth.

If you could choose someone in the television or movie industry to play your part if your book was made into a movie, who would that be (and you can’t say yourself!)?

Maggie: I am very sorry, but your question makes no… oh wait, like a stage play? I cannot answer that but Miss Bruce says that I look a lot like an actress named Haylie Duff.

Matty: Maggie, I’m not sure I know what the question means. What is a television?

Do you have a love interest in the book?

Maggie: That is a rather personal question… I suppose you mean Captain Seth Stone.

Matty: Colonel Cole Black is quite handsome, but he has a nasty temper.

At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?

Maggie: I was nervous before the story began, from the moment we heard the Yankees were coming. It doesn’t matter that I’m a Yankee by birth and inclination, the family I was employed to take care of was on the Confederate side and the Major was languishing in a Union prison. I was deathly afraid I wouldn’t be able to keep the major’s wife and daughter safe.

Matty: On the second attempt on my life. I didn’t think Miss Flannery would ever get me out of the trouble I’d gotten caught up in.

If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really not want to be and why?

Maggie: I truly would not want to be poor Nate Wentworth. What I put that man through to keep him safe. (giggles)

Matty: Oh, I wouldn’t want to be Mrs. Worthington. She is an awful women with a strong disregard for anyone who is not white.

How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away?

Maggie: I would be happier if Miss Bruce or Miss Flannery brought Matty and I together but I know we’ll be together eventually. Other than that, I am content with how things are left. Very content.

Matty: I agree, Mag. I would have loved to been reunited but all in all I’m quite happy with the ending.

What words of wisdom would you give your author if s/he decided to write another book with you in it?

Maggie: I would truly like it if Miss Bruce found a happy ending for Thaddeus and I hope I am there to see it. Perhaps she’ll make me a little less practical and a bit more romantic, like Matty.

Matty: Please, have my sister in it. Maybe we could go on an adventure together. Oh, what trouble we would find.

Thank you for this interview, Maggie and Matty.  Will we be seeing more of you in the future?

Maggie: If it requires another dangerous adventure… Maybe.

Matty: Oh, I don’t know. I’m quite content to settle down and have a family.

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SUMMARY:

Twin sisters separated by war, bound by love…

After the death of their father, twin sisters Maggie and Matty Becker are forced to take positions with officers’ families at a nearby fort. When the southern states secede, the twins are separated, and they find themselves on opposite sides of America’s bloodiest war.

In the south, Maggie travels with the Hamiltons to Bellevue, a plantation in west Tennessee. When Major Hamilton is captured, it is up to Maggie to hold things together and deal with the Union cavalry troop that winters at Bellevue. Racism, politics and a matchmaking stepmother test Maggie’s resourcefulness as she fights for Bellevue, a wounded Confederate officer and the affections of the Union commander.

In the north, Matty discovers an incriminating letter in General Worthington’s office, and soon she is on the run. With no one to turn to for help, she drugs the wealthy Colonel Cole Black and marries him, in hopes of getting the letter to his father, the governor of Michigan. But Cole is not happy about being married, and Matty’s life becomes all about survival.

Two unforgettable stories of courage, strength and honor.

Find on AMAZON.

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Alison's bio pic.Alison Bruce has had many careers and writing has always been one of them. Copywriter, editor and graphic designer since 1992, Alison has also been a comic book store manager, small press publisher, webmaster and arithmetically challenged bookkeeper. She is the author of mystery, suspense and historical romance novels.

Find Alison on the web:

Website: http://www.alisonbruce.ca

Blog: http://alisonebruce.blogspot.ca

Twitter: https://twitter.com/alisonebruce

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alisonbruce.books

Kat bio picKat Flannery’s love of history shows in the novels she writes. She is an avid reader of historical, suspense, paranormal, and romance. When not researching for her next book, Kat can be found running her three sons to hockey and lacrosse. She’s been published in numerous periodicals. This is Kat’s third book and she is hard at work on her next.

Find Kat on the web:

Website: www.katflannery-author.com

Blog: www.kat-scratch.blogspot.ca
Twitter: https://twitter.com/katflannery1

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kat-Flannery/131065966999142

Character Interview: Reed Jackson from Holly Bush’s historical romance, Reconstructing Jackson

We’re thrilled to have here today Reed Jackson from Holly Bush’s new book, Reconstructing Jackson. Reed is a 32-year-old lawyer from Fenton, Missouri.

It is a pleasure to have Reed with us today at Beyond the Books!

Thank you so for this interview, Reed. Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?

Reed JacksonThis author was unduly critical of my mood early on in the book. I’d lost a leg in battle, lost my plantation and heritage to younger brother and my fiancé to boot. I was well within my rights to be cantankerous!

Do you feel the author did a good job colorizing your personality?  If not, how would you like to have been portrayed differently?

She did not give me near the credit I deserved for traveling by train hundreds of miles with complete strangers and having to rely on their kindness to navigate any uneven landscape or building at our inevitable stops and delays. I was the image of humbleness.

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

My intelligence and good looks.

Worse trait?

Pride and stubbornness.

If you could choose someone in the television or movie industry to play your part if your book was made into a movie, who would that be (and you can’t say yourself!)?

Why, Val Kilmer in his Doc Holiday days, of course. He looks a fair bit like me, although not as manly.

Do you have a love interest in the book?

I do. Belle Richards.

At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?

When outlaws started shooting at me and at those nearest and dearest to me.

If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really not want to be and why?

Beulah Freeman. Let’s just say that Beulah got mixed up with something unpleasant.

How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away?

I very much like the end of the book. It is an update to my dear, sainted Mama, whom I miss most desperately.

What words of wisdom would you give your author if she decided to write another book with you in it?

I would wish she would make sure to explain to our readers that my bride is the reason for my continued success and the very heart and soul of our family. I am nothing, was nothing, without her.

Thank you for this interview, Reed.  Will we be seeing more of you in the future?

I certainly hope not. As a southern gentleman, my privacy and the privacy of my family, trumps the rights of usurpers telling our very personal intimacies. Good day to you!

 

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Holly BushHolly Bush was born in western Pennsylvania to two avid readers. There was not a room in her home that did not hold a full bookcase. She worked in the hospitality industry, owning a restaurant for twenty years and recently worked as the sales and marketing director in the hospitality/tourism industry and is credited with building traffic to capacity for a local farm tour, bringing guests from twenty-two states, booked two years out. Holly has been a marketing consultant to start-up businesses and has done public speaking on the subject.
Holly has been writing all of her life and is a voracious reader of a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction, particularly political and historical works. She has written four romance novels, all set in the U.S. West in the mid 1800’s. She frequently attends writing conferences, and has always been a member of a writer’s group.

Holly is a gardener, a news junkie, and was the vice-president of her local library board for years. She loves to spend time near the ocean and is the proud mother of two daughters and the wife of a man more than a few years her junior.

Her latest book is the historical fiction, Reconstructing Jackson.

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Reconstructing Jackson 21867 . . . Southern lawyer and Civil War veteran, Reed Jackson, returns to his family’s plantation in a wheelchair. His father deems him unfit, and deeds the Jackson holdings, including his intended bride, to a younger brother. Angry and bitter, Reed moves west to Fenton, Missouri, home to a cousin with a successful business, intending to start over.

Belle Richards, a dirt poor farm girl aching to learn how to read, cleans, cooks and holds together her family’s meager property. A violent brother and a drunken father plot to marry her off, and gain a new horse in the bargain. But Belle’s got other plans, and risks her life to reach them.

Reed is captivated by Belle from their first meeting, but wheelchair bound, is unable to protect her from violence. Bleak times will challenge Reed and Belle’s courage and dreams as they forge a new beginning from the ashes of war and ignorance.

Beyond the Books with Dot Ryan, author of Corrigans’ Pool

Dot Ryan, author of the historical novel, Corrigans’ Pool, lives in Corpus Christi, Texas with her husband, Sam. She is busy writing her second and third works of historical fiction, one of which is the upcoming sequel to Corrigans’ Pool. To learn more about Dot and where to buy Corrigans’ Pool, and also to read Part One of the upcoming sequel, please visit her website at http:www.dotryanbooks.com.

Welcome to Beyond the Books, Dot.  Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?

Thank you very much for inviting me. Corrigans’ Pool is the first book I have written so far. Presently, I am working on the sequel to Corrigans’ Pool and have outlined two additional historical novels.

What was the name of your very first book regardless of whether it was published or not and, if not published, why?

When I was a child, I had a box of short stories that I had written about animals, schoolmates, etc., but Corrigans’ Pool is my first full length novel.

For your first published book, how many rejections did you go through before you either found a mainstream publisher, self-published it, or paid a vanity press to publish it?

Upon finishing Corrigans’ Pool, I queried about twenty agents and, when one out of that twenty requested the manuscript, I was deeply flattered and encouraged. I was perplexed a few months later when she suggested I rewrite Corrigans’ Pool in a way that would spice up the romance. Ultimately, I decided against turning my story into something I had not intended. There is romance in the book that has a lasting impact on the characters, but it is told with subtlety and, as I intended, is not the single aspect of Corrigans’ Pool that makes the story appealing throughout.

I was fully aware of the stigma against self-published books but, with faith that I had written a very good novel, I quickly decided to go that route.  There was another important reason I chose to self-publish: I had not pursued my dream to write until I had furthered my education and then retired from the workplace, therefore I wanted to spend the rest of my years writing, not pursuing agents and publishers who, perhaps because of the economy, are publishing fewer and fewer new writers, especially untested writers past middle age!  One cannot blame them for making business decisions.

Corrigans' Pool by Dot Ryan (click on cover to purchase)

How did the rejections make you feel and what did you do to overcome the blows?

I had read many articles about the dreaded “Rejection Slip” before I sent out a single query letter, so I thought I was prepared for rejection … until I got that first slip. The agent had scribbled across the top “Think I’ll pass.” None of the agents I queried requested any part of the manuscript except the one I spoke about earlier, so I suppose I should be comforted that their decisions were based solely on my inadequate query letter and not my story.  Most of the other slips said “Not for Us” or something to that effect. In retrospect, I realized that I had actually queried several agents who did not handle my type of novel. That’s a mistake many new writers make—not doing their homework on agents’ requirements.

I was saddened for a short while, then I rewrote the first three chapters, which, who knows, might have tempted one or two of those nineteen uninterested agents to request the manuscript if I had just been able to write a decent query letter!  A bit of advice: Never send form letter queries; only agents are allowed to be so insensitive to the impressions they leave!

When your first book was published, who published it and why did you choose them?

iUniverse published Corrigans’ Pool. An editor friend suggested them when I told her I was thinking of self-publishing.

How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

When I received my first copy of Corrigans’ Pool in the mail, I probably stared at it the same way I stared at the Grand Canyon the first time I laid eyes on it.  Writing a book, any book, is a great accomplishment, and as I held it in my hands, I thought back over all that had happened in my life over the years as I wrote Corrigans’ Pool; it was a bittersweet moment that ended with tears of joy. That night, my husband and I went out to dinner, came home and danced to slow, romantic tunes on our patio.

What was the first thing you did as far as promotion when you were published for the first time?

I notified everyone I knew, newspapers, etc., and donated books to a library in which a friend was affiliated.  My publisher offered various promotion packages, including my own website. I bought several of their promotion deals.  As far as promoting Corrigans’ Pool is concerned, I am still in the learning process. One must be very careful about how one picks and chooses her promotions. Talk to other writers first, if you can, especially if you are as green as I was.  Please know that it takes time and perseverance to get one’s book out there. Be patient as well as savvy.

If you had to do it over again, would you have chosen another route to be published?

I am told that there are a few publishers left who will read manuscripts presented by authors without agents: If I could go back, I think I would have sent query letters to those Publishers rather than agents. Then, if all I received in return were rejection slips, I would certainly self-publish.  If you have faith in your book and have made certain that it is completely without error and is of a standard as good as anything on the bookshelves today, then go ahead and be brave enough to self-publish.  It may take longer to get noticed, but eventually the quality of your book will speak for itself.

Have you been published since then and how have you grown as an author?

I do not have a second work ready to publish, but will complete the sequel to Corrigans’ Pool by mid 2010, if my scheduling goes as planned.

There are several ways to grow as an author: Write constantly, read voraciously, and listen more than you speak. I try hard to do those things. But the very best way to grow as an author is to dispel all bias and prejudices, respect others as much as you respect yourself, and see all creatures of the world through their own eyes.

Looking back since the early days when you were trying to get published, what do you think you could have done differently to speed things up?  What kind of mistakes could you have avoided?

If I had considered no other option other than first getting an agent, I would have taking a course on how to write the perfect query letter! But I don’t think I could have done anything to speed up the process of getting published. More often than not, these things aren’t up to the writer; they are up to the powers that be, which are the publishers.

What has been the biggest accomplishment you have achieved since becoming published?

Learning to be patient.  I’ve also learned to write a better query letter, just in case I want to test those waters with my next novels.

If you could have chosen another profession, what would that profession be?

I never seriously wanted to be anything other than a writer.  I wore many hats in the work world before I retired and finally had the time to dedicate myself to writing, but writing was always my goal.

Would you give up being an author for that profession or have you combined the best of both worlds?

My husband and I owned a business for about ten years before we finally retired.  I combined the best of both worlds for a while. But no, I would never give up being an author for anything, not even for a business that guaranteed a nice income.

How do you see yourself in ten years?

Still joyously happy writing novels, after having earned the reputation as the most prolific granny in the business.

Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

Yes, I do, and thank you for asking. First off, do not let anyone or anything spoil your dream, not rejection slips or any other of life’s surprises and disappointments.  Most importantly, forget about the time limit you may have set on your dream of being published. Time limits do not apply to dreams, unless it is the worthwhile hours, days, and years spent actually writing; such time spent is never wasted and is a sure way to make your dream come true. And remember, you don’t have to be young and able to run in a marathon to write. You just have to keep moving toward the finish line, even if you have to crawl.

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