- I’m getting ready to release my ninth novel of the American Revolution, and it’s definitely exciting — this one even feels a little bit scary to me. I’m tackling head-on a topic that my prior stories have only touched on: slavery during the Revolutionary era. The Freedman will give readers a lot of insight into the legal and social treatment of slaves and freedmen during that era, which was often pretty horrifying. Despite this, there were freedmen who chose to join in the rebellion against the Crown, and I thought that that story would be really compelling. We’ll see soon what my readers think, but I’m pretty pleased with the story that developed out of that background.
What makes good storytelling come alive?
- When the people in a story stop being characters and start being people, in all their messy, imperfect glory, a book goes from being a mere extended narrative to being a story. It can be a little thing – a character who develops an unexplained past, or a relationship that blossoms where the reader didn’t expect it to – or it can be a character who takes off with the storyline, elbowing his way to center stage and insisting that he deserves to be heard.
Can you give us an example of the power of story and how it’s affected your life?
- As a kid, I read a couple of books that mentioned Oregon – one about the Oregon Trail, and one about a modern-day logging family – and it seemed like such an exotic place to this New England kid. When the opportunity arose to follow my career out here, I was open to it, and once I got here, well, I found that it was home. Had I not encountered those two books in my youth, though, I might well have been less receptive to the opening, and might still be in New England with the rest of my family.
What is one thing you would recommend to aspiring writers who are just starting out?
- Read constantly. Read stuff you love, and read stuff that challenges you. Read authors you want to emulate and figure out what about their work speaks to you, and read authors you don’t like, to figure out what they’re doing that doesn’t work for you. Read to broaden your vocabulary, and study a foreign language to nail down your understanding of how languages work. (I’m a particular fan of Latin, because it’s a stable target, but really any language will do the job.) Finally, cultivate a love affair with the human race, because you must love and understand the whole range of characters who will people your pages in order to breath that spark of life into them.
- Well, they’re pretty quiet, and compact, but they can open the riches of the Universe to you. I grew up in a home with a collection of books larger than the municipal library’s, and I’ve done my level best to raise my children the same way. When I’m in a time of high stress, a familiar story can take me out of my own troubles and give me a place where I can let my subconscious noodle away at whatever’s troubling me. (The Harry Potter series is my particular refuge.)
Do you have any pets?
- I have two cats, one of whom is a jerk unless he’s hungry, and the other is a jerk whenever she gets hungry, so I am always assured of having someone who is willing to help keep my ego in check.
This is Adam Thorsfeldt, Signing off for the Port Orford Public Library.
You can hear Lars speak at our upcoming Indie Press Writer’s Conference Saturday, April 21st., 10:30 am – 6:00 pm.
The deadline to sign-up is Friday, April 20th. Don’t forget to register.
Lars D.H. Hedbor Short Bio:
What made the American Colonists turn their back on their King, and fight for independence? How were they different from us–and how were their hopes and fears familiar to our own hearts?
These are the sorts of questions that I think are important to ask in examining the American Revolution, and in the pages of my novels, I suggest some possible answers.
My first novel, The Prize, was published in 2011, followed by The Light in 2013, and The Smoke, The Declaration, and The Break in 2014; The Wind was published in 2015, The Darkness in 2016, and The Path in 2017.
I’ve also written extensively about this era for the Journal of the American Revolution, and have appeared as a featured guest on an Emmy-nominated Discovery Network program, The American Revolution, which premiered nationally on the American Heroes Channel in late 2014. I have also appeared as a series expert on America: Fact vs. Fiction for Discovery Networks, and was a panelist at the Historical Novel Society’s 2017 North American Conference.
I am an amateur historian, linguist, brewer, fiddler, astronomer and baker. Professionally, I am a technologist, marketer, writer and father. My love of history drives me to share the excitement of understanding the events of long ago, and how those events touch us still today.
- The Path: Tales From a Revolution – Rhode-Island
- Paperback: http://amzn.to/2zh7xjY
- Kindle: http://amzn.to/2v3BbrX
- iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-path-tales-from-a-revolution-rhode-island/id1267503337?mt=11
- Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-path-56
- The Darkness: Tales From a Revolution – Maine
- Paperback: http://amzn.to/1SRgBhV
- Kindle: http://amzn.to/1WwGZD5
- iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/darkness-tales-from-revolution/id1099634961?mt=11
- Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/the-darkness-27
- The Wind: Tales From a Revolution – West-Florida
- Paperback: http://amzn.to/1QIqhiK
- Kindle: http://amzn.to/1lMJG4x
- iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/wind-tales-from-revolution/id1065448872
- Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/the-wind-7
- The Break: Tales From a Revolution – Nova-Scotia
- Paperback: http://amzn.to/2FZVIpC
- Kindle: http://amzn.to/2pi1GIA
- iBooks: http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/isbn9780989441094
- Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-break-9
- The Declaration: Tales From a Revolution – South-Carolina
- Paperback: http://amzn.to/2G26zz0
- Kindle: http://amzn.to/2FN4Kmv
- iBooks: http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/isbn9780989441063
- Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-declaration-5
- Audible: https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/The-Declaration-Audiobook/B07B7CT379
- iTunes: https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/audiobook/declaration-tales-from-revolution-south-carolina-unabridged/id1355848946?mt=3
- The Smoke: Tales From a Revolution – New-York
- Paperback: http://amzn.to/2GxcZEe
- Kindle: http://amzn.to/2HFkXKH
- iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/smoke-tales-from-revolution/id791900128?mt=11
- Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-smoke-3
- The Light: Tales From a Revolution – New-Jersey
- Paperback: http://amzn.to/2FWXc3B
- Kindle: http://amzn.to/2FP3ejO
- iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/isbn9780989441025
- Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-light-tales-from-a-revolution-new-jersey
- The Prize: Tales From a Revolution – Vermont
- Paperback: http://amzn.to/2Gwzzg7
- Kindle: http://amzn.to/2pfLHej
- iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/prize-tales-from-revolution/id716441243?mt=11
- Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-prize-tales-from-a-revolution-vermont-1