October 27, 2013

Author Interview with David-Michael Harding

Hi David, first of all, could you tell us a bit about yourself.
I have been a writer for forty years.  The time itself is important, but the experiences, challenges, high and lows are water for the well from which authors draw their work.  I am a better writer today than I was 25 years ago - not because I am merely older, but because of the experiences I have laughed through and cried over.  As many have said, we are the sum of our experiences and mine have been many and varied. Parent, teacher, semi-pro football player, sailor, etc.  The best part is that I continue to find new experiences daily and put them in my reservoir of writing.  As a result I trust I will be a better writer in 10 years than I am today!

What do you think makes your genre special?        

My last two works have been historical fiction.  The fascinating appeal of this genre as a writer is in the research - it is a learning process that is terribly rewarding though painfully time consuming.  Accuracy is everything.  A captivating story can be derailed by insufficient or inaccurate historical detail.   For the reader, it becomes "edu-tainment" - part education (the college professor in me) and part entertainment, the novelist.  I invite readers who have not tried historical fiction to look at my work and the associated reviews.  The stories entice readers and they don't notice the learning process.  Having readers tell me after reading one of my books, "I didn't know that!" gives me tremendous satisfaction. 

What do you think makes a great story?    

Conflict.  Always always conflict.  It can be internal - right vs wrong, ethical turmoil, sadness, happiness,  loss or love.  Or the conflict can be external - man vs nature, man vs man, black cowboy hats vs white cowboy hats in all it's many faces.  With conflict comes decisions.  And with decisions follows consequences.  This is at the heart of most good stories.

What is your latest book called and could you explain to us in 20 words what it is about?     
CHEROKEE TALISMAN.  As Europeans came to their New World, the Cherokee were considered savages.  To the Cherokee, the settlers were invaders and terrorists.  Perspective came with the color of your skin.

Which kind of reader do you think will enjoy your book?    
CHEROKEE TALISMAN has very broad appeal.  It is a love story of a people for their Nation wrapped around a private story of love stolen.  The piece is so historically accurate in its portrayals of Cherokee traditions and depiction of the historical figures, that the Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma, on reading the manuscript, penned the forward.

Is it a Standalone, or part of the series? If it the latter, how long do you think will it go on?    
Not an ongoing series, but the 1st of 2 novels.  CHEROKEE TALISMAN chronicles 1775 through the birth of the United States to 1821, and follows the maturation of a young boy under the tutelage of Dragging Canoe, AKA, the Dragon, who was perhaps the greatest war chief of the Cherokee Nation.  This novel lays the groundwork  for book 2, LOSING St. CHRISTOPHER and what would be the infamous 'Trail of Tears'.  In CHRISTOPHER, the central family's growth and struggles persist as they are tested by assimilation into the white world and, despite some successes, forced to leave their homelands at the point of a gun.

What influenced or inspired you writing it?     
A small amount of native cultural heritage in my family line coupled with tremendous respect for the Native American way of life.

Why did you choose especially this title? Was it your first choice?    
1st choice. CHEROKEE TALISMAN references several things within the novel from objects passed down through generations, to culture and its point of reference as a touchstone of sorts for the Nation as they try to save themselves while the United States crushes in around them.

What was the hardest part for you working on your book?    
With historical fiction it is always the research.

Was there a scene that you didn’t want to add or remove in your finished work?   
No, I endeavor to not waste a page, or a line for that matter.  Conversely, if a scene did not propel the story forward, it fell to the figurative cutting room floor.  Though a sizeable novel, the story itself is lean and fast.

Do you already know what to do next?    
Yes, writers almost always tend to have something brewing, in their minds if not on paper.  I have LOSING St. CHRISTOPHER well underway as well as another novel.

Where can we find more about you and your books?    
Best place is www.DavidMichaelHarding.com but I'm also listed at other sites below.   

Any last words?     
"last words?"   Sounds like a firing squad!  :)

Actually it is... i mean it is the end of the interview, which is the same as the end of the world. 

An orphan boy, Totsuhwa, is taken under the wing of legendary Cherokee war chief Tsi’yugunsini, the Dragon. But even under a dragon’s wing isn’t safe when a covetous nation forms around them.
Amid the battles, Totsuhwa fights the reoccurring pain of loss until he meets Galegi, who becomes his wife. Trying to raise their son in a peace the new world won’t allow, they teach him the strictest Cherokee traditions while white assimilation, encroachment, and treachery grows. General Andrew Jackson wages war against tribes across the southeast and the toll is high. With his people gradually losing everything, Totsuhwa must find a way to save his family — and the Cherokee nation — before all is lost.


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