I am working on a new title, a departure from my usual westerns. A sequel of sorts to Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, this is the story of the child of U.S. Navy Lt. Pinkerton and Cio-Cio-san, the lieutenant’s fifteen-year-old contract bride during his brief stationing in Nagasaki. Raised in the United States, Tom learns of his Japanese mother only at the age of twenty. He is troubled and goes to Japan to search for his Japanese soul. He finds love in Kyoto’s Gion, but the ruthless industrialist who had claimed the young maiko as his protege feels dishonored and vows revenge. I hope to finish the writing in May and then begins the process of peddling the manuscript.
I’m working enthusiastically on my first audiobook. My A Place for Mei Lin was released last November by Five Star Publishing, and I hope to put it up on Audible shortly. I expect an audition to be put by a narrator today after which I will make an offer. If I am satisfied with the result, I will move on to other titles. Have you had experience with publishing audiobooks?
In the novel I’m working on now, Caleb Willis operates a gold dredge in the Stanley Basin in central Idaho. There was a real Willis dredge. It was built and operated by my wife’s grandfather on Stanley Creek in 1910 and thereafter. Here’s a panorama of the dredge and site. The magnificent Sawtooth range looms in the background. Click on the image for a larger view.
Here’s a very thoughtful review of my novel, The People, by Wendy Holland, a premier Goodreads reviewer:
Harlan Hague’s “The People” blends an alternate history of the frontier with the inventiveness of science fiction. It begins with a government eager to move settlers onto the land of the western plains so the tribes have formed a confederation to stave off the invasion, and also find a way of maintaining the unstable peace with the American army.
After the troops are chased away from Indian land by repeating rifle and mortar fire, Lieutenant Michael Wagner is commissioned as an Ambassador to “the People” led by Howahkan and the Beothuk, to uncover the secret of their weaponry. But when he infiltrates the tribe his allegiance begins to shift when he not only falls in love with Howahkan’s well-educated granddaughter but also begins to understand the politics that have a foreign government trying to deprive the People of their land and past without any discussion or reason. This is a retelling of a frontier saga with a liberal dose of war, politics and romance.
With clever dexterity Harlan Hague sets the stage with a confederation of tribes led by Howahkan the leader of the Beothuk who’s struggling to promote change from the old ways where young men proved their prowess and bravery in raids and war. A visionary, he wants peaceful co-existence with the army, trappers and traders, but not at the cost of their land and history. In this imaginative and unique interpretation of a clash of wills that plagued the American plains the Beothuk have control of gold mines, superior weapons supplied by an Asian people called the Celestials and are well-educated. Influenced by civilization in Washington where he travelled to parley with the President Howahkan understands that change is inevitable if any kind of lasting peace is to be forged between the nations. Well-written and vividly descriptive the reader is swept into the heart the Beothuk village with its customs, culture, history and storytelling.
The plot is fast-paced and action-packed as events unfold; the tension and suspense unrelenting as Howahkan not only prepares for war, but desperately tries to deflect the growing rebellion of Taloka and his Patriots who are determined to take over leadership of the Beothuk. Only the blossoming love affair between the impressionable army lieutenant and Howahkan’s non-conformist granddaughter, and between a man of faith and a young Indian maiden dilute the chaos and violence.
The personalities of the characters are as well-developed, complex and unforgettable as the plot, especially Lieutenant Michael Wagner, the Ambassador to the Beothuk who’s eager, confident, and open-minded and Kimimela a female warrior who’s capable, self-assured and well-educated, speaking more languages than her soldier lover. Howahkan who’s patient, wise, compassionate and well-respected strongly contrasts with Taloka, the leader of the rebels who’s self-oriented and deluded. Into a mix of characters who add to the drama, passion, energy and realism of this story add Major Frederick Scott Bentley the military commander who kow-tows to government bureaucracy waging war against the Beothuk. He’s arrogant, deceptive and without conscience.
I thoroughly enjoyed Harlan Hague’s “The People” and thank the author for sending me a copy to review. It’s a fascinating and inventive history of a confederation of tribes struggling to maintain their identity and land in the American frontier. I highly recommend it to history buffs who would like to read about the past with a different outcome.
We get all goose-pimply when we read something that sounds so profound that it must be a rule to live by. Especially when it is uttered by one whose wisdom we accept. Truth is stranger than fiction. Really? What is truth but what one perceives to be true, based on one’s biases? Truth to one person is fantasy to another.
My recent Goodreads giveaway of my book, Sakura, generated 402 entrants from the U.S, U.K., Canada and Australia. Imagine my surprise when Goodreads notified me that the winner lives five minutes drive from my house. I delivered it in person. This must be very unusual. Unique? The local newspaper did a piece on it and, predictably, got it all wrong. It even confused Sakura, the giveaway, with my new book, The People , just released last month. But the gurus tell us that any publicity is good publicity, even when it is wrong.
My new novel, The People, will be released August 20. Please see the pre-order listing on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/People-Harlan-Hague/dp/1432829181/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1407457771&sr=1-1&keywords=harlan+hague. Scroll down the Amazon page to see excerpts from early reviews.