A Place in the Present Where History Meets Fiction

A tale of the glories of Christmases long, long ago...

December 26, 2012

Tags: Christmas, 1776, Washington, Trenton, Delaware, Les Miserables, Thomas Paine, The American Crisis, Trevelyan

Hope you've all had a great Christmas. For us, a wonderful six-day celebration winds down today with lunch and a viewing of LES MISERABLES. But as I sit here on the day after Christmas, five pounds heavier and just about out of holiday energy, I'm thinking of a Christmas song that extols "tales of (more…)

THANKSGIVING: The American Holiday

November 22, 2012

Tags: Pilgrims, Lincoln, Wampanoag, Washington, Revolution, Proclamation, turkey, Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving: the most American of holidays and the one with the longest history.
Start with the Pilgrims. When I was researching Cape Cod, a historian at Plimoth Plantation, the Pilgrims living museum, told me, The difference between the Pilgrims and us: they had all the big things figured out, starting with their place in (more…)

A Blog's Title

October 14, 2012

Tags: Back Bay, Boston, Peter Fallon, Evangeline, The Lincoln Letter, Abraham Lincoln, Washington, Washington DC, historical fiction, mystery, Civil War

Thirty-two years ago, I published my first novel. It was called Back Bay. It "starred" a young graduate student in history named Peter Fallon, who meets a girl named Evangeline Carrington and together, they go hunting for a Paul Revere tea set buried beneath the streets of Boston. So... a literal buried treasure yarn, with plenty of buried family secrets, too. But I knew that to sell my novel to the publishers and excite the readers who had never heard of me, it would have to be something more.
So I decided to add another dimension. I would follow the passage of the treasure through time. I would bring its history to life.In parallel chapters, the story of Peter and Evangeline would alternate with historical chapters, so that we would see the way in which past and present affected one another.
It must have worked, because Back Bay became an instant bestseller and people are still reading it. They are stll reading the Peter and Evangeline adventures, too, including the latest, The Lincoln Letter, about the search for Lincoln's diary. In the novel, Washington DC comes to life as both the shiny, sleek city of today and the muddy, intrigue-filled Civil War capital. Two stories reverberate , and we are reminded, yet again, that in American politics and history, in human nature itself, the more things change, the more they stay the same. (more…)