I often get asked questions about my interest in history and about my writing. I’ve collected the answers to a few of the most frequently asked questions below. If you have a question, feel free to contact me. ~ Michael
What got you interested in Will Crump and the Civil War?
Will was one of the founders of my hometown, and I knew his granddaughter as a kid. His story spans from the Civil War up through WW2, and I found it fascinating. The Civil War period has so many parallels to today, and I hope we don’t repeat it.
When did you start writing?
I started The Clouds of War back in 2002, but due to family obligations and full time work, set it aside for many years. In 2016 I began working to finish it. It launched from Harper Collins May 14, 2019. I wrote short stories and sold some in middle school and high school.
It says Book 1 – so is this planned to be a series?
Yes – each book is written so that it can stand on its own, but they are related, following Will’s life from 1859 up to the founding of Lubbock. A three-book series is planned.
Do you have other books?
Yes! Across the Great Divide, Book 2: The Search was published December 15, 2020 and Across the Great Divide: The Founding was published on December 6, 2022. I have a short story that will appear free on this site, a novel in progress about a Civil War nurse, and a novella in progress on a boy in the American Revolutionary War.
Where do you get your ideas?
I’m a passionate follower of history, and I find obscure people, and get interested in their lives. To me, history is just people’s stories, and some are begging to be told.
Do you do a lot of research?
Yes, months of it. Every time you think it won’t take much research, you’re wrong. Everything from women’s fashions to when a particular verbal expression began to be used, what typical foods were, uniforms, battles, personalities, quirks of the real people.
Are your characters all fictional?
No. Some were real people. In most cases, I try to be as true to the real person as possible, unless no information is available, like with Will’s sisters, Albinia and Julia. Others, like Luther, are fictional, but an amalgam of people’s diaries and stories that I’ve read from the historical record. I’ve used Jim Bridger, Washakie, John Rankin (abolitionist, Ohio), Elijah Green, and other historical people. I do use fictional characters also – Deliliah Simmons, Jameson, Kajika, and many others.
I have this great idea for a book that you could write – would you like to hear about it?
As gently as possible, no. One thing most writers do not lack for is ideas. The scarce item is time to write all the ideas we already have. Aside from any possible legal ramifications, I simply have too many items on my plate already, and characters clamoring in my head for their story to be told.