Interview with novelist James W. George

Novelist
James
W. George
joins me today and we’re chatting about his new historical novel,
The Prophet and the Witch.



During
his virtual book tour, James will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble
(winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for
a chance to win, use the form below.
To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit
his other tour stops
and enter there, too!
Bio:
James
W. George is a lover of history and historical fiction. He is a graduate of
Boston University and a military veteran. He is currently residing in Virginia
with his wife and children.
He
published his critically-acclaimed debut novel, My Father’s Kingdom in January
2017. The novel described the prelude to King Philip’s War in New England in
the 1670s. The Indie View gave it five stars: “This is high historical drama
handled wonderfully…a tale that will fully engage you on every level.”
My
Father’s Kingdom is a planned trilogy, and book two, The Prophet and the Witch,
was published in September 2017. This is an epic novel that spans the entire
conflict of King Philip’s War, and includes such notable historical figures as
Josiah Winslow, Increase Mather, Metacomet, Benjamin Church, and Mary
Rowlandson. The Literary Titan awarded it five stars and a gold medal for
October 2017.
The
author is looking forward to book three of the trilogy, and he can be found on Goodreads.

Welcome, James. Please share a little
bit about your current release.
The Prophet and the
Witch

is a brand-new release. It is book two of a planned trilogy, but the book
stands well on its own even without book one. The setting is New England in the
1670s, and the book explores the obscure but fascinating conflict known as
“King Philip’s War.”
We’re
all familiar with the tale of the Mayflower in 1620, and the first
Thanksgiving. Even the most casual student of history is fairly knowledgeable
about the American Revolution in the 1770s. But what, if anything, happened in
the intervening 150 years?
The
sad reality is, approximately fifty years after the first Thanksgiving,
relations with the Native Americans of New England deteriorated so badly that
they went to war with the Puritan English colonists. The leader of the
rebellion was Metacomet, known as “King Philip” to the English. He was the son
of the great Massasoit, who was instrumental in helping preserve and nurture
Plymouth Colony in their early years.



The
novel is extremely accurate from a historical perspective. It recounts the war
through the eyes of major historical figures such as Josiah Winslow, Benjamin
Church, Metacomet, Mary Rowlandson, Roger Williams, and Increase Mather. Additionally,
a cast of fictional characters such as Israel Brewster, Constance Wilder, and
Linto bring this chapter of history to life like never before.
It’s
truly an epic tale, with Puritans, Quakers, Mohawks, Frenchmen, pirates,
seventeenth-century drinking songs, romance, Elizabethan sonnets, witchcraft, militia
marching songs, psalmody, a refined Scottish villain, riveting combat, erotic
moments, witchcraft, a seafood feast, lacrosse, a treasurer you will love to
hate, deep questions of faith, religion, and friendship, and a slow,
insubordinate, flatulent horse. What else could you want?

What inspired you to write this book?

I
love history and historical fiction, and I wanted to portray a chapter of
history the average American was not familiar with. I’m not trying to be
critical, but in my opinion, we’re kind of overdosing on WWII, the Tudors, and
the Vikings, and I’d like to see some of the more obscure events in history
brought to life. King Philip’s War was one of the most tragic and catastrophic
events in American history, and too many of us have never even heard of it.



Additionally,
the conflict has been the perfect vehicle to explore themes of religion,
friendship, and courage in the face of evil.

Excerpt from The Prophet and the Witch:

This
is from Chapter 29. Linto is a Native American Wampanoag, and his people have
enlisted the help of New France to aid in their war against the English. Linto
is remorseful, because he is convinced he has committed a grave sin during the
prior week.
“Vous
êtes malheureux?”
Linto morosely drew another card, and ignored Captain Alain
Fontaine.
“Qu’est-ce qui ne
va pas?”
Linto should have been using the opportunity, as Captain
Fontaine expected, to study the language of their new allies. As the captain
repeatedly conveyed, within a few years New England would merely be an
extension of New France, and a working knowledge of French would be vital.
“Are you unhappy, Linto?”
The shift back to English stirred Linto from his dull
torpor. He briefly made eye contact, played his card, and sighed. They were
playing “one and thirty,” and this would certainly be the fourth consecutive
hand Linto would lose. His three cards currently added up to a paltry seventeen
points, and he knew Fontaine would capitalize on his discard.
“I will take your three, and…voila. I have thirty-one. Or
better yet, I have trente et un.” Linto
stared vacantly into space.
“Linto, speak to me. You miss your family, no? I miss my
family as well. My daughter is named Madeline. She is with her grandmother in
Lyons. Tell me, what are the names of your children?”
Linto blinked and stared at the table. “Will Father Jacques
ever come back, Cahp-ee-tehn Alain?”
Fontaine remained cordial. “I do not believe so. I have told
you before. He will spend the spring to the west of here, on the shores of the
ocean lake. It is very far, but he will save many souls. But I can answer all
of your questions. You wish to know more about the English heresies? How they
revile the Holy Father?”
Linto reached absent-mindedly for the cards, and lethargically
shuffled them, much to Fontaine’s surprise. “A fifth hand, Linto? Surely, your
luck must be ready to change?”
Linto briefly ruminated on the concept of luck. “Cahp-ee-tehn
Alain, do you confess your sins?”
“Excusez-moi?”
“Father Jacques told me true Christians will tell a holy man
all the things they have done wrong, and they will ask to be forgiven. Do you
think people are punished if they don’t tell a holy man all the things they
have done wrong?”
“You think of such serious matters all the time, Linto. The
sky is clear, the English are on the run all over the land, and we are roasting
ducks today. There will be a big lacrosse game to watch in the afternoon. I
think we will also see at least thirty more warriors arrive this week, and they
will bring muskets.”
Linto continued his ineffective shuffling. “How often do you
tell the holy man your sins? What if you do bad things every day?”
Fontaine reached for the cards and took them. “Linto, you
have been moping like a sad Puritan ever since you went to see the Nipmuc. Weren’t
they overjoyed at the news? Aren’t they making preparations for two hundred new
warriors?”
The reminder of deception and falsehood triggered an even
deeper gloom in Linto. He sat silently, and was relieved when one of Cahp-ee-tehn
Alain’s attendants came in with cheese and brandy. Linto hoped the subject
would now quickly change.

What exciting story are you working on
next?

Book
three of the trilogy will move forward approximately fifteen years. There was
another obscure but fascinating war that rocked New England during that time,
and evidently, in 1692, there was some kind of kerfuffle in Salem that got
everyone all excited.

Additionally,
the audiobook for The Prophet and the
Witch
is in progress. My narrator, Mr. Angus Freathy, is phenomenal. He
does all the accents, easily differentiates between dozens of characters, and
doesn’t falter with any of the exotic names and places. He even does the tipsy
singing.

When did you first consider yourself a
writer?

I’ve
always enjoyed the academic writing associated with school and work, but 2017
is the first year I’ve begun professionally writing.

Do you write full-time? If so, what’s
your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find
time to write?

No,
I’m not a full-time writer. Fortunately, my work schedule affords me time to
write, especially when I’ve been working night shift, and I’m at home on my
days off wide-awake at 2AM.

What would you say is your interesting
writing quirk?
Things come much easier when I’m listening to classical music.

As a child, what did you want to be when
you grew up?

I
remember a fifth-grade career project when I listed “aerospace engineer” and
depicted myself standing next to an airplane with a clipboard. How geeky is
that? I guess I was pretty close, as I did get an engineering degree and spent
twenty-two years in the Air Force.

Anything additional you want to share
with the readers?

I’m
extraordinarily proud of this book, and the initial reviews have been terrific.
One review I’m very fond of came from romance author Shashane Wallace, who
noted “The Prophet and the Witch is a book for everyone.” In other words, even
if you’re not normally drawn to historical fiction, I’m confident you’ll enjoy
this tale of love, war, courage, religion, friendship, and faith.

Links:

Goodreads
| Amazon



Thank you for being a guest on my blog!
It’s
been a pleasure. Thanks for having me!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

8 thoughts on “Interview with novelist James W. George

  1. James W. George says:

    Good morning to all!

    Thank you for hosting me here today, Lisa. I see you are a New England enthusiast (and who isn't). Please feel free to chime in with any insights about the places and events of King Philip's War. Most of the action takes place near Swansea, MA and present-day Bristol, R.I.

    I know a lot of the pronunciations have been pretty interesting for my audiobook narrator, Angus Freathy. Aquidneck, Sakonnet, Pocasset, Quaboag, and my favorite, Quacumquasit Pond.

  2. Bea LaRocca says:

    Congrats on your new book release! This sounds like my kind of read. Thanks so much for sharing your Q & A. I enjoyed reading.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *