Friday, July 1, 2011

Perhaps you're thinking, "She's gone mad"

Those of you who have been following my personal blog ( for the past couple of weeks have doubtless noticed that I have embarked on a long rant about the War of 1812, the one we fought for two years against Britain. Perhaps you're asking yourselves, "What is she thinking? Here she has a new book coming out scarcely six weeks from now under the name of Irene Fleming, The Brink of Fame. It's about early twentieth-century Hollywood, not the War of 1812."

This is true. It's also true that under the name of Kate Gallison I'm hard at work writing a suspense novel, set in the present day, which has nothing to do with the War of 1812 either.

And yet. The story of Bucker Dudley, the girl who dressed as a boy and went to sea on a merchant ship, only to find herself pressed to serve on board the British frigate HMS Macedonian, is still rattling around in my head. I think it's worth pulling together. This is the tale I was telling my friend Donna Murray some years ago as she drove us to Pittsburgh to the Festival of Mystery. At a certain point in the story she became so enthralled that she nearly ran the car off the Pennsylvania Turnpike. So it has a certain narrative force.

And I'm still fascinated with that war, the last armed conflict we had with the British.

I tuned in to BBC news the other day and saw two talking heads discussing economic conditions in California, which they said were not good and prefigured the general ruin of the United States. I thought I saw one of them smirk, like a spiteful cousin at the Thanksgiving table who hears that you've just lost your job. Yes, we fought them, two hundred years ago, a war between cousins. Some of it was glorious, most of it was kind of pathetic. I know a lot of stories about it, and I want to tell some of them, even though there are forty things I'm supposed to be doing instead, including publicizing Irene Fleming and The Brink of Fame. I just want to.

Or it may be that I've gone mad. Bwahaha.

Kate Gallison

No comments:

Post a Comment