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The Button War

Remembering History

When, a couple of years ago, my book, The Button War was published, a number of readers were puzzled about the context, that it takes place during World War One.  My sense of things is that all nations have selective memories about their history. And the history that is remembered is often told to emphasis certain ideals, myths, and aspirations.

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Story Behind the Story #67,
The Player King, Part Two

If you read history—as I do for the stories—it is more often than not populated by big people, kings, queens, generals, senators and presidents. Such people do alter history, sometimes for the better, or worse. But embedded in such tales are countless—if only passing—references to others, small folk. Such is the story of Lambert Simnel, as told in The Player

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Story Behind the Story #67:
The Player King, Part One

When one reads history, one learns about big events and important people, such as the American Revolution, or, say, Napoleon. But if you read the footnotes in those histories you can learn about the individuals who lived in those historical moments. You learn about British prison ships in New York City, where more people died by maltreatment than on the

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Something Upstairs

Story Behind the Story #20:
Something Upstairs

I was living in Los Angeles, one of the USA’s newest cities. I moved to Providence, Rhode Island, one of the USA’s oldest cities. The city is like a museum of early American architecture. It was a rather like traveling back in time. I began to read about Providence history. I was visiting a school somewhere. A teacher took me

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Iron Thunder

The Research Process

Avi_The Research Process from Mackin Educational Resources on Vimeo. Thanks to MackinVia for this excerpt from a longer interview I did with them. You can view more of Mackin’s videos here. If you haven’t already read my mystery Catch You Later, Traitor, here’s more about the book.

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Listening for rhythm

In discussions about writing there is often talk of a writer’s “Voice,” the voice of the narrator, be it the author’s voice or the character who is relating the tale. Not often mentioned is the rhythm or cadence of a narrative. What I am writing about here is close to poetic usage, but not quite. A well written piece contains

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A life of its own

Have I lived a life of historical fiction? My dictionary of literary terms defines the historical novel as “A novel in which the action takes place during a specific historical period well before the time of writing (often one or two generations before and in which some attempt is made to depict accurately the customs and mentality of the period).”

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Commingling fact and fiction

The most difficult aspect of Sophia’s War is the commingling of fact and fiction. The story of Benedict Arnold’s treason, and John André’s fate, is not just well known, it has been researched and detailed to an extraordinary degree. One of the books I used to research the event provided photographs and descriptions of everywhere André went during that extraordinary

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Where do you get your ideas?

The most common question asked of authors is, “Where do you get your ideas?” Consider my newest book, Sophia’s War, a tale set in New York City (NYC) during the American Revolution. I was born and raised in Brooklyn (NYC), close to the site of the biggest battle fought during the American Revolution, the Battle of Brooklyn. In 1947, when

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