Q&A with Richard Sharp discussion

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Historical Novels

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message 1: by Richard (last edited Jan 29, 2014 02:47AM) (new)

Richard Sharp (RichardSharp) | 25 comments Mod
As noted in my introduction, I consider The Duke Don't Danceto be a historical novel, even though it continues into the present. It actually followed my writing of two undoubtedly historical novels ("Jacob's Cellar" and "Time is the Oven"), previously unpublished due to the press of my professional career. The first concerns the slow and difficult assimilation of a non-English speaking immigrant family into American culture over the hundred years culminating in the Civil War. The second is a kind of "Anti-Western" take on Missouri in the tumultuous years from the close of the Civil War through the turn of the century. Jacob's Cellar was released in November 2012 and Time Is the Oven was released in late December 2012.
Jacob's Cellar by Richard G. Sharp Time Is the Oven by Richard G. Sharp


message 2: by Richard (last edited Jun 30, 2012 02:03PM) (new)

Richard Sharp (RichardSharp) | 25 comments Mod
"Jacob's Cellar" begins with a retelling of a family story of the long-forgotten "War of the Regulation," a rural North Carolina precurser to the Revolutionary War culminating in 1771, in which farmers took up arms against corrupt colonial officials and were put down decisively in the so-called Battle of Alamance.The family that is the focus of the tale were part of a German-speaking community that left North Carolina as refugees from that conflict, moving west to lawless Tennessee and eventually further west to Missouri. There, their descendants are caught up in the Mexican War (1846-48) for which Missourians provided many of the American troops. A decade later those troops would be the core of the ill-fated Missouri State Guard that would be converted to the Missouri component of the Confederate Army and be decimated in the Civil War.

The novel concerns those caught on the wrong side of history in most respects, participants in a journey leading to the disintegration of old cultural identities and assimilation into the larger society, while their individual triumphs and tragedies are tales of survival through these overwhelming events.


message 3: by Richard (last edited Jan 04, 2013 11:45AM) (new)

Richard Sharp (RichardSharp) | 25 comments Mod
Jacob's Cellar by Richard G. Sharp Jacob's Cellarwas released on November 13, 2012. It is available on Amazon .com in paperback and Kindle. http://www.amazon.com/Jacobs-Cellar-R... It is also available in paperback and Nook on barnesandnoble.com http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/jacob...


message 4: by Richard (new)

Richard Sharp (RichardSharp) | 25 comments Mod
Time Is the Oven by Richard G. Sharp Time Is the Oven was released on December 27, 2012. It is available on Amazon .com in paperback and wiil appear on Kindle and Nook later in January 2013..


message 5: by Richard (new)

Richard Sharp (RichardSharp) | 25 comments Mod
One of the first rules in fiction writing is "show, dont tell." But all rules are meant to be broken! My recent novel, Jacob's Cellar, takes on this challenge.

My tale is a story of a closely knit community in rural Missouri confronted by the threat of war and soon swept into it. Under those circumstances, people often huddle together and discuss their experiences and reminiscences for many reasons: to understand how they found themselves in their present circumstances, to divert their attention from current worries, to seek some form of amusement, or simply to share companionship. An old cellar is the focus of such discussions in my novel, in which the strengths and weaknesses of my protagonists under the growing threat of disaster are revealed through their telling of, and reaction to, past events and individuals.

Yes, showing can tell a story more effectively than a bland narrative, but the telling of a story can also reveal the teller's hidden motivations and emotions more honestly than his/her overt actions. That is the original path offered by Jacob's Cellar to readers open to a fresh approach to the historical novel.


message 6: by Richard (new)

Richard Sharp (RichardSharp) | 25 comments Mod
One of the things most neglected about the Civil War period was that there were numerous small ethnic minority rural communities across the South -- Germans. Scots and others -- some of which maintained their old world traditions and even languages. In some cases these communities found themselves on the frontier because they were recruited, in effect, to serve as a buffer between the original colonies and native American tribes, French and Spanish settlements. They were exploited in other ways by the established colonists as well. There were numerous unsettled grievances in these communities with both State and Federal authorities well before the Civil war. The war broke these communities apart, but not without reinforcing animosities that are still reflected in today's politics. Jacob's Cellar attempts to capture some of that reality in its tale of a family's struggle to survive the war.


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