Friday, November 6, 2009

My New Civil War Novel: The Long Defeat

In preparation for the San Francisco Writer’s Conference I’m attending in February, I’ve begun polishing up my manuscript for my latest historical fiction, The Long Defeat. Special thanks to my friends, family, and fellow re-enactors for reviewing the novel and providing feedback. Your encouragements and praises help keep me going! As you can imagine it’s no easy task writing then rewriting a book from start to finish and all the while trying to grab the attention of a legitimate literary agent. I truly do appreciate your time and advice from each and every one of you.

For those of you unfamiliar with my new book, allow me to briefly explain. The novel itself is set during the height of the American Civil War and chronicles the experiences and letters of a handful of soldiers both North and South. The two conflicting protagonists, a Northern soldier William S. Book and a Southern Confederate Nathaniel Saxon, begin the war as strangers, but soon find themselves facing one another across the battlefields of Virginia. William S. Book of Boston embodies the Northern man of industry and progressiveness; Nathaniel Saxon of New Orleans represents the Southern soldier of culture and tradition. Their respective regiments, the 12th Massachusetts and the 5th Louisiana, meet under a flag of truce only later to face one another on opposing sides of battle.

Both Book and Saxon are accompanied by very different comrades on campaign. Written in an epistolary style, the novel progresses through the perspective of several of these men's letters as they write to women back home. Book’s companions consist of the Irishman Franklin Murphy, and the youthful idealist James Beale. Saxon’s compatriots include the bayou bushwhacker Johnnie Waverly, and the French Creole Adrian LeBlanc. Through the letters of each of these six men we experience their trepidations, their camaraderie, and their hopes. Some of these men write to their mothers, wives, and sweethearts. Others write to almost total strangers.

In addition to this novel being a historical fiction, I have gone to great lengths to ensure the authenticity and historical accuracy of the campaigns and armies portrayed in The Long Defeat. For those of you who haven’t had a chance yet to read my new book and are interested, please contact me directly for a copy at Thank you again to all my friends and family for your continued support.