Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Adding Something New

The best way to get over the agony of writing a book is to begin anther book. I just sent to a publisher my book General Morgan’s Legacy. It is a novel about a modern man who stumbled across information about the Confederate General John Hunt Morgan as he escaped from a Yankee prison in 1863. The book consists of two stories intertwined, but separated by about 140 years.

What sparked the book is information about General Morgan that suddenly emerged from an exchange of letters between me and a well-known poet/novelist. It seems this writer’s great-grandfather and my great-grandfather worked together to help Morgan get back to Tennessee so he could once more attack the Union Army.

With this book I will be presenting new information about the Civil War and one of its Generals in the South. Adding to the existing literature on a topic is always fun. Every book I have written (except the one on time travel—Time Out of Joint) has done just that.

I interrupted the writing of another book to finish the Morgan book. I was getting bogged down into too much detail in my newest book, Ploughshares into Swords. That book tells what civilians did to assist the WWII war effort, and in particular what the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) did both with artillery rockets and the atom bomb. In that book I will be adding to the literature about the Bomb and about rocketry. Perhaps Caltech as well.

In between chapters of Ploughshares I am writing about a curious turn of events that occurred during the Cold War. Armed with grudging information obtained from US intelligence agencies under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), I will be able to put together a story that will upset several writers of CIA expose’ books of the past decades. What they said in part was not true, either because they did not know, or because they did know but were not allowed to tell.

It is always fun to add new facts to old, established history.

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