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Historical Times Magazine – Shiloh to Sapelo

Here is an excerpt from the article I wrote for Historical Times July Issue, out today!

From Shiloh to Sapelo: Our Past Remains Unchanged

Every day, our modern culture erases more and more reminders from our Nation’s past, however the past remains unaltered. History can be rewritten, monuments and markers removed, and names on buildings, roads, bridges, schools, and even military bases and vessels replaced with different names, BUT the past remains unchanged. Only our interpretation of the past changes.

Whether our Nation’s past offends or encourages us today, it took place in the time and circumstances of those who lived it and shaped it. The good or harm we perceive from the events in our Nation’s history is a healthy discussion we should be free to engage in, but first we should acknowledge that our current society is a product of our past. We should take care when picking what portions of history to erase or alter. 

This is the discussion I dove into after I first wrote my historical novel. Author-friends questioned my decision to publish a story that involves enslaved workers on Southern plantations at the breakout of the Civil War. But, sometimes a story comes to light from a controversial period in our Nation’s history that outweighs any risk in writing it. For that reason, I am pleased Koehler Books saw the value of the story and published the story I wrote.

What follows is how I went from writing my contemporary Shiloh Mystery Series to investing three years to write and publish, The Last Laird of Sapelo.

I quote a portion of A Land Without Ruins by Abram Ryan, a noted 19th-Century American poet (1838-1886), in the story’s opening.

“A land without ruins is a land without memories — a land without memories is a land without history. A land that wears a laurel crown may be fair to see; but twine a few sad cypress leaves around the brow of any land, and be that land barren, beautiless and bleak, it becomes lovely in its consecrated coronet of sorrow, and it wins the sympathy of the heart and of history. Crowns of roses fade — crowns of thorns endure. Calvaries and crucifixions take deepest hold of humanity — the triumphs of might are transient — they pass and are forgotten — the sufferings of right are graven deepest on the chronicle of nations.”

The rest of Ryan’s famous poem did not make it into the novel, but is worth sharing to remind us today of the value of never letting loose of the past. 

Please subscribe to read the complete article which will offer more insight into why I wrote The Last Laird of Sapelo in the first place. Visit Historical Times Magazine link. The. monthly historical magazine offers a trove of information and articles related to history and the latest novels chockfull of history from all parts of the world and from all ages of interest.

August 15 is around the corner, did you preorder your copy yet?

Click the image to go to Koehler Books for quick links to preorder either the hardcover or softcover edition. Watch for the updated list of book tour appearances:

Darien, GA and on Sapelo Island, August 15-17

The Book Loft, Fernandina Beach/Amelia Island, FL, August 18-19

A Novel Idea, Alpharetta, GA, August 22

Hometown book launch event, hosted by Newnan Coweta Historical Society at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum, Newnan, August 24

Sharpsburg Book Fair, Sharpsburg, GA, August 25-26

For additional appearances and events, subscribe to receive updates.

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