Sunday, April 24, 2011

JENKINS: Confederate Blockade Runner by Emily Hill

Based on a true story of adventure, treason, betray and love – both lost and recovered – JENKINS: Confederate Blockade Runner will satisfy your hunger for adventure, your longing for the past, and your curiosity about how one community fought among themselves in the war that pitted Brother against Brother. Beginning in Baltimore, Maryland’s 1820’s JENKINS: Confederate Blockade Runner takes the reader on a ride with Newburne’s Company of Mounted Rifles, through the settler days of Fair Haven, Vermont and along the beautiful Gulf Coast, ravaged by the Civil War. Inspired by the photograph album of family pictures that kept C.T. Jenkins company during his incarceration as a convicted blockade runner, Emily Hill, “A Civil War Lady” and current caretaker of that album, weaves a drama that is receiving high praise. Historically true to the facts, emotionally true to the past.
Emily Hill is owner of A. V. Harrison - Publishing and a member of the Pacific Northwest Writers Association and the Small Publishers Association of North America. Formerly a publication assistant for the corporate magazine, 'Weyerhaeuser Today', Ms. Hill currently manages her publishing business and writes historic novels. Noting that through these difficult financial times authors will need a platform by which to distribute their work, Ms. Hill is an enthusiastic supporter of empowerment, self-sufficiency, and the indie-publish movement sweeping the American publishing scene today.

What will readers like about your book?
New readers of Jenkins: Confederate Blockade Runner will like the same elements of the novel that readers, book bloggers, and reviews have loved about the book over the past six months. First, it is becoming the Number One ‘breakout’ Civil War novel in the States’ sesquicentennial of its Civil War.

The characters are real; the battle scenes are authentic and historically perfect; the story is poignant and reflects the human experience. You read Jenkins, you see a movie in your head.

Some of the accolades include: “Gripping”; “Fascinating and true to the time and place. I was especially taken with the battle scenes”; “finds his true soul mate with Lucy Colburn of Vermont (10 years his elder) leading to a sweeping romantic adventure with twists and turns…”; “Any author, especially those who write novels of historical significance will tell you that the Golden Rule is; Research, Research, Research. Emily Hill understands the Golden Rule.”

Why did you self publish?
Reality, Control, and economic necessity. I had attended the 2010 Pacific Northwest Writers Association at which Bob Dugoni, a sweet-hearted Northwest writer addressed the crowd of 500 writers on the conference’s topic, “Finding Your Agent”. At the end of his witty, engaging remarks he enthusiastically asked the 500-attendees, “How many of YOU have found your agent!” Five attendees – of 500 – raised their hands. (I’ll wait, if you want to re-read that sentence ;) Five. That was a bookmark moment for me (no pun intended).

I check-marked the workshop entitled, “The Dark Side of Publishing”, listening to the quips and cues of Boyd Morrison on ‘going Indie’. Then I did an on-line interview with Zoe Winters for my book “All Smart Cookies Can Self Publish” and I was on my way!

What is your writing process?
Compulsion. Pure, simple compulsion. It hits me, I sit down. When I was writing ‘Jenkins’ I would re-read (in editing, a month or two later) my manuscript and ask, ‘Was this me? Did I write this?’

How long does it take you to write your first draft?
It took me eight months to write my first draft which grew, God knows how, to 93,000 words. I had carpel tunnel problems, shoulder pain, but I literally could not stop myself. I would automatically wake up at midnight and write until 5AM; then get ready for work. I retired one year later. I only wanted to write.

What inspired you to write this particular story?
Spirits and family history drove me to write ‘Jenkins: Confederate Blockade Runner’ which is biographical fiction. Necessity drove me to write ‘All Smart Cookies Can Self Publish’.

I had researched my family history for fifteen years, inspired by the Civil War album that had belonged to my protagonist, C.T. Jenkins. The Civil War album was passed down to me by an aunt who had been a chorus girl in the Ziegfield follies. When I discovered that Florida historians had an interest in Col. Jenkins I decided to write the novel (a) for their community and (b) as a legacy to my grandchildren, as a way of passing on family history. Then, I realized that the novel might fit the mass market so…here I am!


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