Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Advice for any novelist who decides to write nonfiction:  Be really good with detail work.  And be patient.  I've fallen silent the last few weeks because I was going to the mat with these two truths.  I used to think I was pretty good with detail--loved to do historical research for my novels and work the factual material into the fabric of the fiction.

But it's a much different and far more laborious task to cite the source for every fact and assertion and to solicit permission to use what you've turned up--and then to wait, sometimes for weeks, for a response to your appeal.  Same goes for period photographs for illustrations.  One becomes very familiar with photo archivists at museums, libraries, historical socities and the like; happily, all have been incredibly kind, helpful and understanding.  I also have a great editor at the University Press of Colorado, whose guidance and patience with my endless--and usually stupid--questions seems to have no limit.  All the materials for Season of Terror are due at the end of July.  Ruth and I will be in Colorado for most of June visiting her family; I'll also be taking a couple of last-minute photos for the book.  Season of Terror will come out sometime next spring.

In a recent post I mentioned a forthcoming book, Cavalry of the American Revolution, which carries an essay of mine on the tactics and organization of the Contintental cavalry at the battle of Eutaw Springs; it is now available for order at

The Sunshine of Better Fortune, my sequel to Nor the Battle to the Strong, seems to have fallen victim to the slump in the fiction market.  The publisher of Nor the Battle informs me that he may not be able to put it out for a year or more and has given me the OK to try to sell it elsewhere.  I'll keep you advised of any progress on that front as soon as Season of Terror leaves my hands.

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