T. M. Brown Author
Musings and News for February
As we step into the pages of February, which include Black History Month, I’m thrilled to highlight the profound resonance of the book, “The Last Laird of Sapelo.” The narrative captivates but also sheds light on the often-overlooked dwindling community of Geechee descendants on Sapelo Island.
This February, “The Last Laird of Sapelo” becomes a powerful tribute, intertwining fiction with the historical threads that define Black heritage. “The Last Laird of Sapelo” serves as a bridge, connecting readers to the resilience and cultural richness of the Geechee community.
Let us illuminate these often-neglected narratives. Through storytelling, we can offer a window into the struggles, triumphs, and traditions that shape the legacy of the Geechee people.
Above are a couple of images of those descendants who have shown interest and support for the creation of Randolph Spalding’s story and the legacy the Spalding family had with the original Geechee enslaved workers and their families who brought as slaves to Sapelo to work and live!
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UPCOMING EVENTS in FEBRUARY
February 9-11 Georgia Writers Museum Writers Retreat, Eatonton, GA—Panel discussion on “What I Wish I Knew When I First Started Writing” Jeff Shaw, Christopher Swann, Rona Simmons, and Kristine Anderson join me as we discuss our writing journeys.
February 17-18 Party Gras on the Coast Book Signing at The Local Exchange, Darien, GA, 11 AM to 2 PM, Saturday. This will be Mike’s third return since the book launch of The Last Laird of Sapelo last August. While there, he will schedule a book talk on the “Separating Fact from Fiction” in this new historical novel. So, to all the McIntosh folks, stay tuned.
February 20 Evenings with History at Georgia’s Old Capitol Heritage Center, Milledgeville, GA. 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM. What are the ties between Milledgeville and Sapelo Island? What role did Baldwin County play in the Randph Spalding story?
February 24 Amelia Island Book Festival 2024 Author Expo, Fernandina Beach, FL, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM Mike joins a host of regional authors sharing and talking about their books as an integral part of the Amelia Island Baook Festival.
Visit the full calendar of upcoming book talks and signings, here.
THE Final Four – February Inspired Thoughts From Mike
1. My return to Darien, GA for the third time since the book launch. The Local Exchange in Darien requested I bring extra books, especially hardcover editions to sell during Party Gras, February 17th, 11-2 PM. A surprisingly huge interest remains in The Last Laird of Sapelo. Darien’s The Local Exchange continues to sell out of books. While visiting Darien, I will look forward to scheduling a future book talk, “Separating Fact from Fiction in The Last Laird of Sapelo.” Harriet Langford, Director of the Ashantilly History Center, has had several readers ask to learn more. The goal in writing a believable, plausible, and conceivable historical novel is to create a story so anchored and entrenched in history, the curiosity of the readers sparks an interest to know more.
Whether I write a second book about Sapelo about the post-war era on Sapelo, my ongoing research adds to all my historical talks. It’s amazing how many people have asked about visiting Darien & Sapelo after they read the story and/or heard me talk and contacted me.
2. I have accepted an invitation from Spalding family-linked descendants mentioned in The Last Larid of Sapelo to join them for a weekend stay on Sapelo, March 21-24, at the Reynolds Mansion. While on Sapelo, I intend to catch up with a friend, Peter Lukken and his wife, Miriam, a Spalding/Wylly family descendant, who live on Sapelo Island. I am eager to discuss more facts about the post-bellum era on the island when “Sapelo Cowboys” raised cattle and built a beef enterprise. Now that could make a catchy title?? From the former sprawling cotton fields to the island’s unfettered sprawling savannas, cattle roamed over the island following the turbulent Civil War years. Likewise, following a turbulent few years, the former enslaved workers and their families resettled Sapelo along with members of the Spalding family.
Now that so many folks have read the story of Randolph Spalding, I am honored and humbled by the positive feedback from the so many McKinley, Spalding, Wylly, and Kenan descendants. Talking with a lot of them over the past few months and receiving a heap of praise has been my biggest surprise. As I stated above, they are the reason I am looking forward to returning to Sapelo in March.
3. On another venture, amidst my busy schedule of book talks and signings, I agreed to co-write a fascinating biographical story entitled “A Boy Named Slim.” It is a rite of passage tale based on the life of Noel Shumann, an 89-year-old writer friend, who asked me to join with his youngest daughter to edit and rewrite his manuscript into a published legacy novel. Though there is an ample supply of embellishments in Noel’s boyhood story, the core of it is based upon his life being raised on a gentleman’s horse farm on the outskirts of Louisville in the early 1950s. To put the time of his story into perspective, Johnny Unitas, NFL Hall of Fame quarterback of the then Baltimore Colts, was still at the University of Louisville. Noel handed me his rough manuscript over a year ago. I am honored to commit to this project. As I wrote in my previous novel, Testament, “the testament of a man lies not in his possessions left behind but in his legacy that continues long after he has passed away.”
4. During a book talk by NYT Best-selling author, Brad Taylor, in my hometown of Newnan recently, I asked him what advice he’d offer to aspiring writers wanting to publish their first novel. His answer, “Write the best story you can write without worrying about publishing it. A great, well-written story will find its way to be published. So, just write!”
2024 Carrollton Book Fest is coming April 5-6 in Carrollton, GA..Get ready for a celebration of literature, featuring Southern Author Rick Bragg. Buy Tickets
AWARDS FOR THE LAST LAIRD OF SAPELO
The Last Laird of Sapelo has made as a semi-finalist for two upcoming Chanticleer’s International Book Awards for historical novels. Chanticleer’s Book Review already awarded the novel with a Five Star Best of the Best Editorial Review.
CIBA GOETHE AWARDS ARTICLE HERE
CIBA LARAMIE AWARDS ARTICLE HERE
Western, Pioneer, & Civil War, Americana Historical Fiction-1750s Late Historical Fiction
Thank you for supporting The Last Laird of Sapelo.
We can’t wait to see you at one of our upcoming book signings or author meet & greets!
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