We’re grateful to Civil War News for including Tempting Skies in its February book section. The paper doesn’t review novels anymore, but it introduced in the February edition a column dubbed Novel Notes, stating that “from time to time we receive works of fiction set in the Civil War era and will occasionally recognize them.” We appreciate the newspaper finding Tempting Skies worth mentioning.
I chuckled when I read in the column, after it quoted conflicting dialogue between two people from Tempting Skies: “What I like about Civil War novels is that they offer a forum for characters to argue about the causes and nature of the war in ways that would get the rest of us in trouble with the PC-bosses.”
Writing fiction does allow you to present different perspectives without having to justify why you’re including them. That the feelings and opinions existed provides reason to consider them. In many cases, you don’t need to agree or disagree with statements made. You can leave that to the reader.
Historical fiction offers lots of flexibility not granted to nonfiction writers. In the Beyond the Wood Series, I elected to forgo profanity because I didn’t think it important to my purpose, although it was certainly a daily part of the war. I also went to great lengths not to include some derogatory, racially and emotionally charged words for, among other reasons, they raise emotions in me and others that stem from our 20th and 21st century experiences. Of course, racially charged words certainly existed and were hateful, harmful and defining in the 19th Century as well, so I tried to write in a way that implied their odorous existence, especially in A River Divides, Book Two, Beyond the Wood.
For highlighting Tempting Skies, I express thanks to Civil War News and historian Stephen Davis, the publication’s book review editor. Dr. Davis has written several nonfiction books about the war. Check out the Civil War Trust’s worthwhile interview with him about the provocatively titled work What the Yankees Did to Us: Sherman’s Bombardment and Wrecking of Atlanta.
Midwest Book Review Carries Second Review
We also were surprised and glad to see Midwest Book Review carry Teri Davis’s review of the book, which she called “a Civil War masterpiece.” A very kind statement. I didn’t expect Midwest to carry a second review of the book, so I was doubly pleased. Thanks to long-time Midwest Book Review head James A. Cox for his years of service and to Teri for the review.
We appreciate all the support we’ve received from many.