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Story Behind the Story #61: Sophia’s War

  1. Sophia's WarI was raised in Brooklyn Heights, the site of the biggest battle of the American Revolution. It was that battle, which brought the English to Manhattan, which they occupied for the rest of the war.
  1. The place where I lived was also not far from the Brooklyn bay where the British had prisoner ships. Fifty thousand Americans died on those ships. The beach was littered with human bones.
  1. Knowing the above led me to a youthful interest in the American Revolution.
  1. Rabble in Arms, Kenneth RobertsOne of the ways I learned about the Revolution was reading historical novels. Kenneth Roberts was a popular novelist in the forties, and wrote about those times. But, he was very much pro-British. One of the books he wrote was Rabble in Arms, which in large part was about Benedict Arnold, prior to his acts of treason. But, being a contrary teen-ager, I liked the notion that Arnold was not really so bad.  I developed an interest in him, and of course, learned much more about him.
  1. Many years later, I had begun an historical novel series. The guiding notion was I would tell a very realistic historical tale, but insert a fictional youth, as the protagonist.  Thus Iron Thunder and Hard Gold were written.
  1. The third in the series was to be about the prisons, prisoners, and spies in NYC during the revolution. It would have a girl protagonist. That was the genesis of Sophia’s War, and all of the above played into it.
The Battle of Brooklyn Heights, August 27, 1776
The Battle of Brooklyn Heights, August 27, 1776
  1. But by the time I got around to writing it the publisher of the first books in the series, did not want to carry on. I wrote it anyway, but without the illustrations that the first two books contained. It was published by a different publisher, as a stand-alone.
The marker in Brooklyn Heights, memorializing the largest battle in the Revolutionary War.
  1. At some point I went to the spot where, in the book, Sophia’s family’s 18th century home would have stood in Manhattan. Needless to say, nothing of the 18th century was left, save the paths of the old crooked streets. And where Sophia’s home would have been stood a Trump Tower.
  1. Then there was a revolution.

1 thought on “Story Behind the Story #61: Sophia’s War”

  1. I love Sophia’s War. Excellent book and I will now have to read the first two. More kids should be reading these books.

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