Wednesday 25 July 2018

Author’s Inspiration ~ Paul Bennett #History #America #HistoricalFiction @hooverbkreview

Author’s Inspiration

Paul Bennett

The inspiration to write was, in the beginning, merely to see if I could do it.  I had written short pieces over the years but to tackle a full blown novel was a daunting prospect.  Once the seed was planted I came up with a rough idea of telling the story of three siblings living somewhere in colonial America.  Choosing that general locale was a natural fit for me as I’ve been a lifelong student of American history and I felt that if I was going to write a historical fiction novel, it might be prudent to choose a subject I knew a little about. I picked The French and Indian War as the starting point for what was now becoming a possible series of books that would follow the Mallory clan through the years.  That war intrigued me and I saw a chance to tell the story through the eyes of the Mallory family.  It also provided me with the opportunity to tell the plight of the Native Americans caught up in this conflict.  The French and Indian War paved the way for the colonies to push further west into the Ohio River area.  It also set the stage for the events of the 1770’s.  Britain incurred a huge debt winning that war and looked to the colonies for reimbursement in the form of new taxes and tariffs.  Well, we all know how those ungrateful colonists responded. 

An inspiration for the last couple of chapters in Clash came about because I grew up in Detroit, MI. the site of Pontiac’s Rebellion.  When France lost, the tribes that sided with them found themselves under the thumb of the British, a situation that became intolerable due to the harsh methods of Jeffrey Amherst.  A coalition of tribes arose under the Ottawa chief Pontiac so even though the war was over, conflict continued.  That was too good a setting to ignore so I made sure my protagonists were part of the action.

As to the name Mallory – I have a photo hanging on my living room wall of my great grandfather, Harry Mallory.  I got to know him when I was a young boy and was always glad when we visited him.  He lived a good portion of his life in western Pennsylvania which is where much of Clash of Empires takes place.  So, as a gesture to my forebears, Mallory became the name of the family. 

One thing I have learned while writing Clash is that the characters I created, that I gave life to, often have minds of their own. I’ll have an idea where I want a particular passage, scene, or conversation to go, but when I start writing that bit something happens. It’s as if my characters have hijacked my fingers and voilà, a new idea is born. I suspect that this activity on the part of my characters is part of a conspiracy concocted and led by my feisty Muse. She seems to delight in surprising me, often while I am driving to and from work. One day I spied a bald eagle flying overhead as I was passing Minuteman National Park, the site of the famous battle of Lexington and Concord that began the Revolutionary War. I know that was my Muse in the guise of an eagle, scouting out the area for the chapter I was soon to write about that battle.

Clash Of Empires
A Novel Of The French & Indian Wars

Thomas and Abigail Mallory move their family from their farm on the Susquehanna River to a frontier trading post near Fort Duquesne (modern day Pittsburgh) at a time when the French and the British both seek to control the lucrative fur trade along the Ohio River.  Clash of Empires is the story of the Mallory family as they are caught up in the conflict that would become The French and Indian War.  It is a tale of the three Mallory siblings, Daniel. Liza and Liam and their involvement in the conflict; the emotional trauma of lost loved ones, the bravery they exhibit in battle situations; the friendships they develop with the young, first time militia commander George Washington, and the friends, or enemies, made with many of the Native American tribes caught up the war. Clash of Empires is the first book in The Mallory Saga, a saga that will follow the Mallory clan through the making of the United States, and its rise to power in the 19th century.

Paul Bennett

Paul’s education was of the public variety and when he reached Junior High he discovered that his future did not include the fields of mathematics or science.  This was generally the case throughout his years in school as he focused more on his interest in history; not just the rote version of names and dates but the causes.
Paul studied Classical Civilization at Wayne State University with a smattering of Physical Anthropology thrown in for good measure.  Logically, of course, Paul spent the next four decades drawing upon that vast store of knowledge working in large, multi-platform data centers, and is considered in the industry as a bona fide IBM Mainframe dinosaur heading for extinction.
Paul currently resides in the quaint New England town of Salem, Massachusetts with his wife, Daryl.  The three children have all grown, in the process turning Paul’s beard gray, and have now provided four grandchildren; the author is now going bald.
Paul loves to hear from readers, you can find him: Blog Twitter

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See you on your next coffee break!
Take Care,
Mary Anne xxx