In conjunction with The Historical Fiction Club on Facebook, I welcome to the blog, Jim Metzner, during his author takeover on Monday, June 7th. If you would like to join the takeover, please join the club here: The Historical Fiction Club
Jim studied acting at Yale Drama School and enjoyed a brief career working as a singer-songwriter in London, opening for TRex, Free, and Pink Floyd! He has been producing sound-rich audio programs since 1977, including Pulse of the Planet, which has been on the air since 1988 and is now heard widely as a podcast.
For many years, Jim produced features and commentaries for All Things Considered, Marketplace, Weekend Edition, and other public radio programs. He has recorded all over the world and received major grants from the National Science Foundation, NASA, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Grammy Foundation. Stories about his work have appeared in Audio Magazine, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, National Geographic, The Today Show, and the CBS Evening News. His forty-year archive of sounds is now reposited in the Library of Congress in Washington, DC.
A bee-keeper and avid fly-fisherman, Jim resides in New York’s Hudson River Valley with his wife Eileen.
“This is a rollicking, thought-provoking, rollercoaster of a novel. It’s time traveling on steroids, but it asks big questions. Bravo!” – Ken Burns, filmmaker
“A rich, complex tale of supernatural heroism. The novel folds ancient traditional wisdom into the seams of its story with the author’s well-honed narrative skills, delivering the tastes and flavors of its mingling times and cultures with ease and aplomb. One ends up feeling not like an onlooker, but an active participant in the events. The book, from this perspective, is hard to put down. It’s a page-turner, but an intelligent one; one that asks more questions than it answers and left, for one, this reader hoping for a sequel.” – Lee Van Laer, Senior Editor, Parabola Magazine
“The tribe’s descent from late prehistoric mound builders connects the Natchez people to one of North America’s most intriguing puzzles. Archaeologists know how the earthworks were built, but excavations cannot reveal what these monuments meant to the native people who built them. With Sacred Mounds, Metzner embraces the mystery to weave a story across time and cultural boundaries.” – Jim Barnett, author of The Natchez Indians: A History to 1735
“Awesome! Jim Metzner has imbued a page-turner of a book with esoteric truth half-revealed behind a somewhat violent drama. There are keys to a meaningful life hidden behind the carnage. A great read. Can’t wait for the movie!” – Lillian Firestone, author, The Forgotten Language of Children
In conjunction with the author takeover at The Historical Fiction Club, I’d like to welcome to the blog, J. L. Oakley, the author of The Jossing Affair, The Quisling Factor, and so many more!
The author takeover is on May 31st at the Club – JOIN HERE
Janet Oakley, writing as JL Oakley. writes award-winning historical fiction that spans the mid-19th century to WW II. Her characters, who come from all walks of life, stand up for something in their own time and place.
Her writing has been recognized with a 2013 Bellingham Mayor’s Arts Award, the 2013 Chanticleer Grand Prize for TREE SOLDIER, 2015 WILLA Silver Award for TIMBER ROSE and the 2016 Goethe Award Grand Prize for THE JØSSING AFFAIR. MIST-CHI-MAS, set on San Juan Island after the Pig War, is an 2018 IndieBRAG Medallion book, 2018 WILLA Award finalist and won second place in the Will Rogers Medallion Award, Western Romance.
Though she has lived in the Pacific NW for many years, she has also lived in Hawaii, Washington DC and Pittsburgh. She has been a guide at Mission Houses in Honolulu, a museum educator at a small NW county museum, and a Humanities Washington speaker.
When not writing, Janet demonstrate 19th century folkways. She can churn some pretty mean butter.
To view her books, go to her Amazon Author Page here
In conjunction with the Author Takeover at The Historical Fiction Club, I’d like to welcome to the blog today, Elizabeth St. John, the author of the fabulous Lydiard Chronicles.
If you would like to join the author takeover on May 10th, please visit The Historical Fiction Club, join the group and the discussion!! Also, you might get the chance to win some prizes!!
Elizabeth St. John spends her time between California, England, and the past. An acclaimed author, historian, and genealogist, she has tracked down family papers and residences from Lydiard Park and Nottingham Castle to Richmond Palace and the Tower of London to inspire her novels. Although the family sold a few country homes along the way (it’s hard to keep a good castle going these days), Elizabeth’s family still occupy them– in the form of portraits, memoirs, and gardens that carry their legacy. And the occasional ghost. But that’s a different story.
Having spent a significant part of her life with her seventeenth-century family while writing The Lydiard Chronicles trilogy and Counterpoint series, Elizabeth St. John is now discovering new family stories with her fifteenth-century namesake Elysabeth St.John Scrope, and her half-sister, Margaret Beaufort.
In conjunction with the author takeover on my group, The Historical Fiction Club, I am welcoming to the blog and podcast, Mark McLaughlin, the author of “The Throne of Darius” and “Princess of Persia”.
If you would like to listen to his author interview on the Hist Fic Chickie podcast, click on the link below:
If you would like to join Mark for his author takeover of the group on April 12, 2021, please click HERE to join the group (answer all the questions) and you will have the opportunity to read his posts, ask him questions, and enter possible giveaways!!
“Someday, you make a game for me, Daddy?” is what little Ryan McLaughlin asked her father, Mark, many years ago. He designed not one but two games for his daughter, and then wrote a novel based on the later of those: Princess Ryan’s Star Marines. Now he has written another novel – a work of historical fiction: Throne of Darius. It is the first in a series about characters (real and imagined) who fought against Alexander the Great.
A free-lance journalist, Mark is the author of two novels and two books on military history and is the designer of 24 published games – most recent of which is Ancient Civilizations of the Inner Sea by GMT games. Mark also writes for many clients and publications. Although his principal work as a journalist over the last 40 years has been in foreign affairs, he also writes on everything from travel and entertainment to serious position papers.
Ancient Thebes, 335BC. Alexander savagely crushes the Theban revolt against his rule. Swearing revenge for their once glorious city, Dimitrios, a captain of the Theban army, physician Klemes, and soldier Ari, join General Memnon in Asia Minor to fight against Alexander as he sets off to conquer the Persian Empire.
An irreverent portrait of Alexander the Great
Throne of Darius is a story of high adventure, romance and war – especially war, told with heart and a sense of humor. Mark McLaughlin paints a unique and irreverent portrait of Alexander the Great, who certainly was not “great” to everyone. Unlike the majority of historical and literary works, this novel does not glorify the Macedonian king but instead tells the tale of the young conqueror from the point of view of those who fought against him.
What readers say about Throne of Darius
“The description of the Battle of the Granicos River is among the clearest I have ever read. The author knows his history and presents it in a facile style that explains the essentials of the strategy of the campaign and the tactics in skirmishes and battles.” – Christopher Vorder Bruegge
“Military historical fiction is often all about male warriors, complex strategies and vicious battles. There is all of that in this book, but there are also strong female characters in Throne of Darius, like the noble princess Barsine and the brave horsegirl, Halime. Narrating the story from the point of view of Alexander’s opponents is a refreshing take that brings a new understanding of Alexander’s campaign without diminishing historical accuracy. There is humor, fierce battle scenes but also deeply emotional moments – everything to make Throne of Darius an enthralling read that will keep you hooked”. – Krystallia Papadimitriou, editor
“PRINCESS OF PERSIA”
Alexander the Great would have been furious at the disrespect shown to him in this novel. His mother, Olympias, would have surely cursed the author for depicting her son as a blood-thirsty glory-hound with delusions of godhood. On the other hand, Darius, the king whose throne Alexander lusted for, and Memnon, the general who was for a time the young Macedonian’s greatest foe, are likely smiling in their graves, relieved that someone west of the Bosphorus has finally told their side of the story. Princess of Persia is the second book in the series which began with Throne of Darius: A Captain of Thebes. It continues the story of the Greek and Persian men and women – and one woman in particular – to whom Alexander was anything but “great,” and tells the tale of the young world conqueror from the perspective not of those who worshipped him – but of those who fought against him.
Princess of Persia is the second in the series which began with Throne of Darius: A Captain of Thebes. It continues the story of the Greek and Persian men and women – and one woman in particular – to whom Alexander was anything but “great,” and tells the tale of the young world conqueror from the perspective not of those who worshipped him – but of those who fought against him.
Thank you to Mark for being a part of The Hist Fic Chickie blog and podcast today, I truly appreciate it!
In connection with The Historical Fiction Club’s Author Takeover, I am happy to welcome to my blog and podcast today, Drema Drudge, author of Victorine. To follow the author takeover on Monday, March 15th, you can go to this link: The Historical Fiction Club and join.
Drēma Drudge suffers from Stendhal’s Syndrome, the condition in which one becomes overwhelmed in the presence of great art.
As an interesting aside, I had to look up this rare disorder and was amazed in reading about this occurence.
I was in a sort of ecstasy, from the idea of being in Florence, close to the great men whose tombs I had seen. Absorbed in the contemplation of sublime beauty … I reached the point where one encounters celestial sensations … Everything spoke so vividly to my soul. Ah, if I could only forget. I had palpitations of the heart, what in Berlin they call ‘nerves’. Life was drained from me. I walked with the fear of falling.
Although psychologists have long debated whether Stendhal syndrome exists, the apparent effects on some individuals are severe enough to warrant medical attention. The staff at Florence’s Santa Maria Nuova hospital are accustomed to tourists suffering from dizzy spells or disorientation after viewing the statue of David, the artworks of the Uffizi Gallery, and other historic relics of the Tuscan city.
Though there are numerous accounts of people fainting while taking in Florentine art, dating from the early 19th century, the syndrome was only named in 1979, when it was described by Italian psychiatrist Graziella Magherini, who observed over a hundred similar cases among tourists in Florence. There exists no scientific evidence to define Stendhal syndrome as a specific psychiatric disorder; however, there is evidence that the same cerebral areas involved in emotional responses are activated during exposure to art. The syndrome is not listed as a recognised condition in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
The knowledge of this affliction, if you can call it an affliction, I sort of think of it as a spellbinding intoxication with the beauty of art. I can understand this since I feel that same overwhelming feeling whenever I am near anything relating to Shakespeare.
Back to our guest, Drema, she attended Spalding University’s MFA in Creative Writing Program where she learned to transform that intensity into fiction.
Drēma has been writing in one capacity or another since she was nine, starting with terrible poems and graduating to melodramatic stories in junior high that her classmates passed around literature class.
She and her husband, musician and writer Barry Drudge, live in Indiana where they record their biweekly podcast, Writing All the Things, when not traveling. Her first novel, Victorine, was literally written in six countries while she and her husband wandered the globe. The pair has two grown children.
In addition to writing fiction, Drēma has served as a writing coach, freelance writer, and educator.
For more about her writing, art, and travels, please visit her website, www.dremadrudge.com, and sign up for her newsletter. When you do, you’ll get a free historical fiction story about artists Olga Meerson and Henri Matisse and their alleged affair.
Drema’s always happy to connect with readers in her Facebook group, The Painted Word Salon, or on Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Victorine Meurent is a forgotten, accomplished painter who posed nude for Edouard Manet’s most famous, controversial paintings such as Olympia and The Picnic in Paris, paintings heralded as the beginning of modern art. History has forgotten (until now) her paintings, despite the fact that she showed her work at the prestigious Paris Salon multiple times, even one year when her mentor, Manet’s, work was refused.
Her persistent desire in the novel is not to be a model anymore but to be a painter herself, despite being taken advantage of by those in the art world, something which causes her to turn, for a time, to every vice in the Paris underworld, leading her even into the catacombs.
In order to live authentically, she eventually finds the strength to flout the expectations of her parents, bourgeois society, and the dominant male artists (whom she knows personally) while never losing her capacity for affection, kindness, and loyalty. Possessing both the incisive mind of a critic and the intuitive and unconventional impulses of an artist, Victorine and her survival instincts are tested in 1870, when the Prussian army lays siege to Paris and rat becomes a culinary delicacy, and further tested when she inches towards art school while financial setbacks push her away from it. The same can be said when it comes to her and love, which becomes substituted, eventually, by art.
By Pirate Patty Reviews – “Victorine Meurent. You may not know the name, but you know her. Take a look at Manet’s Olympia or Picnic on the Grass. Victorine models for many artists. She is living in Paris, posing nude or clothes. But her secret desire is to be the painter, not the model. In 1863, a woman artist is laughable. It is not a career that is encouraged by parents or society. But Victorine is no ordinary woman. No. She is a force of nature, steamrolling her way to her dreams. She doesn’t want someone else’s life, she wants to live her life. And she does.”
“She endures the horror of the occupation of Paris. She makes do with nothing. But she is always kind and loving. Victorine is one of the most interesting women I have had the pleasure to read about. She is smart, curious, and determined. Her personality is so strong and the author portrays her so well, you can feel her emotions. This is not something I come across every day. I wanted it to last longer. I honestly don’t have words for the energy this work of art is. Victorine came to life with the language the author used. I have a feeling we shall see more!”
*Author of Victorine, a novel about the iconic model of Manet’s Olympia turned painter, virtually forgotten by history, until now. Sign up to my newsletter, Artful Fiction, at: www.dremadrudge.com. Podcast: Writing All the Things
Welcome to The Hist Fic Chickie! Today I am featuring the artistic and dignified stylings of Christian Historical Fiction author, Rebecca Duvall Scott.
Rebecca is an accomplished author and the recipient of numerous awards. Her first published work and best-selling memoir, Sensational Kids, Sensational Families: Hope for Sensory Processing Differences, chronicles the research, interventions, and mindset shifts that successfully brought her family through her son’s SPD diagnosis. While she values her special needs initiative, her heart has always been with Christian historical fiction. Her best-selling and #2 Amazon Hot New Release novel, When Dignity Came to Harlan, is based on her great-grandmother’s childhood. Rebecca lives with her husband and their two children in Kentucky and plans to write more in both the Dignity and Sensational Kids series.
Skillfully written and sure to draw you in to its pages, When Dignity Came to Harlan is set in the early 1900s and follows twelve-year-old Anna Beth Atwood as she leaves Missouri with her family dreaming of a better life in the coal-rich mountains of Harlan County, Kentucky. Anna Beth’s parents lose everything on the trip, however, and upon asking strangers to take their girls in until they get on their feet, Anna Beth and her baby sister are dropped into the home of Jack and Grace Grainger – who have plenty of problems of their own. Anna Beth suffers several hardships during her time in Harlan, and if it wasn’t for her humble and wise old friend who peddles his wisdom along with his wares, all would be lost. Based on a true family history, this is a story of heartbreak and hope, challenges and perseverance, good and evil, justice and merciful redemption. It exemplifies the human experience in all its many facets and shows what it means to have real grit. Take the journey with us and see how, with the unseen hand of God, one girl changed the heart and soul of an entire town.
“A reminder of our forebears’ sacrifices and strength, this exquisitely-told story proves that no amount of poverty or pain are a match for fierce faith.” Lizbeth Meredith, award-winning author of Pieces of Me: Rescuing My Kidnapped Daughters
Author of Sensational Kids, Sensational Families: Hope for Sensory Processing Differences & When Dignity Came to Harlan
I’d like to thank Rebecca for her amazing author takeover at The Historical Fiction Club last Monday, and if you haven’t had the chance to check out her postings, they are still there and you can read more about her book and her life at the Club. Join here: The Historical Fiction Club
Zenobia Neil was named after an ancient warrior queen who fought against the Romans. A lifelong lover of Greco-Roman mythology, she writes about the ancient world and Greek god erotica. An English teacher by day, Zenobia spends her time imagining interesting people and putting them in terrible situations. She lives with her husband, two children, and dog in an overpriced hipster neighborhood of Los Angeles. Psyche Unbound is her first book. Zenobia would love to hear what your favorite Greek myth is.
“The Queen of Warriors is a full-blooded adventure into the ancient and mythological world of the warrior queen, Alexandra of Sparta. Imaginative, exciting, and alluring!” – Margaret George, author of Helen of Troy
Cursed by a Babylonian witch, Alexandra of Sparta is forced to return to a city she once conquered to make amends. There she is captured by the powerful Persian rebel, Artaxerxes .
In conjunction with the Historical Fiction Book Club, I welcome Edward Rickford to my blog today along with his author takeover of the group on NOVEMBER 30th!! If you would like to join in the takeover, to ask him questions, and to enter to win his Chaucer award-winning book “The Serpent and the Eagle”, click this link and join the group: