Today we have Sam Forman joining us. Sam's book Twenty-One Heroes is a young adult historical fiction Novel.
Thanks for joining us Sam. Tell us about Twenty-One Heroes!
Outspoken Katherine, elder daughter of a Salem shopkeeper, supports the patriot cause with conviction, intelligence, and poise, inspiring the respect of many and the affections of two very different college students—Ezra and Joshua. While fighting, disease, and unrest surround them, these young people grapple with heartache and longing of young love. Combining historical facts and people with modern sensibilities, I thrust the reader into a world of danger and possibilities.
What should readers expect from you titles?
Compelling characters, adventure, and romance unfold across a tumultuous American historical landscape. Katherine, Ezra, and Joshua deal with very real challenges that come with growing up. My books - both fictional yarn like Twenty-One Heroes and non-fiction history - are based on extensive research and immersive rendering. While I deal with challenging issues forthrightly, my appreciation for the American experience is quite evident.
What's your writing process like?
Characters and scenes in Twenty-One Heroes are partly based on friends in a university classroom, transposed to the American Revolution. Polishing these in-class musings afterward, I’d pass the scenes to the individuals featured in them. Does this flirtation scene work? How would you do it differently? After a little while my ruse became generally known. In this manner I performed reality checks with willing young people of comparable ages to the characters. I also wove in the fruits of archival research using old diaries, letters, and manuscripts.
What's next for you as an author?
If sufficient numbers of readers enjoy Twenty-One Heroes and want to learn about what becomes of their favorite characters in the American Revolutionary era, I plan to continue their stories in subsequent books. I continue to write non-fiction history. A future project immerses the reader in the epic journey of a pioneer family traveling across the perilous Western and Southern frontiers when the ink on the U.S. Constitution was not yet dry.
If you could have dinner with an author, who would it be?
Esther Forbes. Over 50 years ago she wrote the perennial favorite Johnny Tremain, a novel thrusting the reader into a similar Revolutionary War setting as Twenty-One Heroes. My inclusion of a female heroine, more diverse set of characters, and nuanced handling of challenges in America’s infancy, makes my work more accessible and relevant to modern readers. Forbes also broke new ground as a serious biographer and historian, and as a woman in a field then dominated by men. Her biography of Paul Revere stood as the best written for over 30 years. I’d like to talk to her about choices she made in presenting both her more formal histories and her young adult fiction.
If you could travel to another time, would you choose past or future or would you stick where you are at? And Why?
I would choose early America and our Revolutionary era. The period is foundational for many of the challenges we face today. The realities of the lives of the era’s young people, especially women and minorities, are scantily recorded. I include forthrightly challenges faced by some characters–racial prejudice, slavery, sexual harassment, disparities in opportunity – that hardly registered in written records of the time.At the same these experiences became part of the fabric of America. They are important for modern American readers to appreciate. I am fascinated by origin stories of all kinds.
Are you an introvert or extrovert?
Neither. Or perhaps both. I enjoy stretches in the archives with old manuscripts and the products of quill pens and quick wits, then the solitary process of creation. But I also enjoy critiques in groups, author events, and unrelated socializing.
Thanks for joining us Sam. It's been a pleasuring having you.
Delighted to be here.