My first book followed a long, arduous motor trip through Afghanistan, for which I could find very little background material. So I wrote the introductory book that I had needed before the trip began. To my great delight The Land and People of Afghanistan sold well and continously for four decades and went through three editions.
Bob and I lived for long periods of time in Lebanon, Pakistan, Niger, Burundi, Sierra Leone, Malaysia, and Western Samoa. The other four Portraits of the Nations followed: The Land and People of Malaysia, of Sierra Leone, of Liberia, and of the Arabian Peninsula. For the Arabian Peninsula book, I actually spent a month traveling alone across Saudi Arabia. Some of my favorite stories resulted from that trip.
I began writing fiction while we were in Africa because the 1970s was not a good period for criticizing the corrupt governments of that continent. Bisha of Burundi and Salah of Sierra Leone date from that period. I also fictionalized my more recent Indian book, When the Great Canoes Came, because the only source material was written by Englishmen, and you must read between the lines to figure out what they were doing to the local tribes. Lonesome Road, a contemporary young adult novel, builds from the material I collected about today’s Virginia Indians as I was writing their history.
My daughter Candace, a lighthouse historian, introduced me to the wonderful world of lighthouses. She does the research, and together we have written and published five books: Women Who Kept the Lights, Nineteenth-Century Lights, Maine Lighthouses, Mind the Light Katie, and Lighthouses Short and Tall. Complete descriptions are found on the publisher’s website.
I have been collecting material about my grandfather, who was a drummer boy during the Civil War. The Web had made it possible to learn more about his four years in Indiana Volunteer Intantry regiments. My daughter Candace found extensive documentation in the National Archives. I published his story in 2013, Drummer Boy of Company C: Coming of Age in the Civil War.
Many of my older books are out of print, but I find them listed on Amazon.com.
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