“It’ll be glorious fun”
Paths to Freedom – book 2 The Mallory Saga
By Paul Bennett
A brief catching up – last year I was pleased to contribute a guest post on Mary Anne’s fine blog, in which I explained how I came to write the 1st book in The Mallory Saga, Clash of Empires. You can check it out by clicking HERE — though a quick rundown of Clash goes like this… the three main characters are Daniel, Liam, and Elizabeth (Liza) Mallory and the story is about their trials and tribulations during the French and Indian War. Many of the major battles are part of the tale, e.g. the two attempts to take Fort Duquesne (later Fort Pitt) and the taking of Fort Carillon (later Ticonderoga), and feature the historical figures of the time such as Generals Braddock, Forbes and Amherst, and the young Virginian George Washington. Clash ends with Pontiac’s Rebellion, an aftershock of the British victory over the French, and finds our protagonist family recovering from the horrors and the joys of the prior seven years.
When I embarked on this journey, the road to authorhood, I really hadn’t given much thought to the hazards, pitfalls, ambushes, and the overriding need for an organized chart of characters that awaited this poor naïve scribbler of tales. Naturally, I most likely complicated the process by listening to my Muse. “Go ahead now,” she purred in my head, “a family saga will be glorious fun.” Fun she says…hah, I say. Mind you I’m not complaining. After all, this was a completely new adventure for me, writing novels, and I didn’t have a map or GPS to plot my course through the ever increasing number of progeny my characters were producing. Rule number one for writing a family saga that is projected to encompass about 150 years of American history, is that the family has to still be around…has to procreate to ensure the family line continues. Oh, let’s complicate it even more by creating multiple family lines to follow as the children grow, marry and have their own children. It seems that humans, real, and apparently fictional ones as well, like to have sex, it is inevitable. I hope I can find enough historical events for the kiddies to get involved in. J
In Paths to Freedom the children of the three Mallory siblings begin to make their presence known, especially Thomas, the oldest child of Liza and Henry Clarke (see right there, already another family line to follow), but Jack and Caleb, the twin sons of Liam and Rebecca along with Bowie, the son of Daniel and Deborah are beginning to get involved as well. The French and Indian War, the historical setting for book 1, was over, and the Mallory/Clarke clan is looking forward to settling and expanding their trading post village, Mallory Town, now that the frontier is at peace. And for a time they had peace, but the increasing discontent in the East, not so much toward the increasing rise in taxes, but the fact that Parliament was making these decisions without any input from the colonies, slowly made its way west to the frontier. Once again the Mallory/Clarke clan would be embroiled in another conflict.
Another aspect of my saga is that the main characters are not always together in the same place or even the same event. In Paths my characters are spread out; some have gone East, some have gone West, some are sticking close to Mallory Town, so in effect there are three stories being told, and that means more plots, subplots, twists and surprises. One of the aspects of the lead up to The Revolutionary War, was the attempt by the British to ensure cooperation with the Native Americans, especially the Iroquois Confederation. The British had proclaimed that they would keep the colonies from encroaching on tribal lands, a strong inducement indeed. However, some tribes, like The Oneida, had established a good relationship with the colonists. I knew right away when I started book 2 that the relationship between the Mallory’s and the tribes would be part of it. Among the historical Native Americans who take part in Paths are the Shawnee Chiefs; Catecahassa (Black Hoof), Hokoleskwa (Cornstalk), Pucksinwah (father of Tecumseh), and the Mingo leader Soyechtowa (Logan).
I also realized that I needed to get someone to Boston, and the Sons of Liberty. Thomas Clarke, the eighteen year old son of Liza and Henry, was the perfect choice for the assignment (mainly because he was the only child old enough at the time). J Through him we meet the luminaries of the Boston contingent of rebels, Paul Revere, Dr. Joseph Warren, John Hancock, and the firebrand of the bunch, Sam Adams. Plenty of history fodder to be had…British raid in Salem…Tea Party…the famous midnight rides…culminating with the Battle of Lexington and Concord. Oh yes, plenty of opportunities for Thomas.
An untenable situation arises in Mallory Town resulting in Liam and his two companions, Wahta and Mulhern, finding themselves on a journey to the shores of Lake Michigan and beyond. Driven by his restless buffalo spirit, Liam has his share of adventures; encountering a duplicitous British commander, meeting many new native tribes, some friendly, some not so much. A spiritual journey in a land not seen by many white men.
Writing stories like this, as it turns out, requires quite a few characters. Some are just cameo roles, but some take on a larger part in the narrative…a few of them, through their audacious behavior, actually demanded more page time. All of these characters need names. As in Clash of Empires, I have borrowed the names of some of my internet acquaintances in the writing world. So appearing in Paths to Freedom you will find, Martin Lake, Steven McKay, Rob Bayliss, and Paul Collard. It’s not surprising that each of them performs spectacularly, so much so that they clamored, cajoled, threatened, and generally made it known they were worthy of continuing on into book 3. We shall see. J
Many of the authors who I am acquainted with talk about the editing process as one that produces a polished manuscript ready for publication, but at the cost of many hours spent staring blankly at printed pages, holding off the urge to scream into the void – “what the heck is a dangling participle?” or “why are adverbs so bad?” Normally I wouldn’t be asking those questions. Normally I would just be responding to all the gaffes, missed commas, and dangling adverbs that were pointed out to me by a real editor. Normally I wouldn’t be self-editing the third draft, but when my real editor is unavailable due to life events, I must do the deed myself. This doesn’t come naturally to me, and thus instead of an already completed, and published Paths to Freedom, I am slogging through the draft as quickly as possible, consuming vast quantities of coffee, and gaining more and more respect for the job that an editor does. The bottom line is that I do not have a definitive date as to when Paths will be available, however, I do believe I will have it ready…oh heck, it’ll be done when it is done.
To keep up with all of the news, and excitement that is The Mallory Saga, here’s the link to my Facebook page
So, my peeps and fellow travelers – turn off the TV… put down the cell phone or tablet … Read a book, expand your mind and soul, and don’t forget to leave a review. J
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.
Pick up your copy of
Clash of Empires
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.
For more information, please visit the Mallory Saga Facebook page. You can also find Paul on his Blog, Twitter, and Goodreads.