Tuesday, July 07, 2015

A Passion for American History leads to Book Part 1

Today I'm excited to introduce you to author Allen Woods. He has been a full-time freelance writer and editor for almost 30 years, recently specializing in social studies and reading textbooks for all ages. The spark for The Sword and Scabbard came while doing research for an American history text. He welcomes e-mail at the Blog page of the book web site www.theswordandscabbard.com.

Welcome to Pastimes! Thanks for joining us and sharing a bit about your writing world. Congratulations on the release of your new book The Sword and Scabbard Tell us a bit about it.

It is essentially a crime novel set in 1760s Boston. Political events are central to everyone's life at the time and force the main characters to take actions they might not otherwise as criminal and political actions blend together. The book shows a side of Boston rarely seen in standard histories and the accepted narrative - it is told from the viewpoint of common people on the street, rather than the lords and leaders at the time.

What drew you to write this book?

I've been a writer my entire adult life, and as a part of other research, I found the events and people of the period fascinating. It seemed a story waiting to be told.

How did you get the idea for The Sword and Scabbard?

In considering the importance of smuggling in colonial Boston for even the richest and most respectable merchants, such as John Hancock, I saw that there needed to be a mechanism for accomplishing it. Somebody needed to land the ships in secret spots and unload cargo in the middle of the night. The tavern at the center of the book seemed a lively and probable place for a lot of the action. I also found that many of the sons of liberty, as well as victims of the massacre, were people that would frequent waterfront taverns that were a step below the ones where Samuel Adams and other leaders met to discuss and plan their political actions.

What was the greatest challenge in writing The Sword and Scabbard?

Making the timelines of fictional and factual events coincide was challenging. The fictional characters are constantly being affected by real events, while they pursue their own needs and fictional plans at the same time.

What did you learn as you wrote The Sword and Scabbard?

The answer would be a book in itself. I learned about the actual history and life in Boston leading up to the massacre as well as the challenges of writing and revising a full-length novel, an activity squeezed in between paying assignments as a full-time freelancer.

What do you hope readers remember after your stories (story's) end?

I hope they will see the period a bit more realistically, rather than retaining just the common view of revolutionary events. The story is much more complex that what most people have been taught and remember.

Be sure to come back tomorrow for the rest of this interview. And enter the giveaway for a copy of his book. It's simple. Just use the form below to see which question to answer, and then answer in the comments. Good luck!  

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Anonymous said...

Crime novel exciting. What was post looks like a great read. kamundsen44@yahoo.com Kim

Patty said...

It's not a question I have thought to much about, but I would think the later would be more likely. I think the colonist were tired of being ruled by a power so far removed from their everyday lives!


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