Thursday, April 18, 2013

Part Two: Let's Talk Research

Hiya Folks,

Me, again, here to talk about my book Journey to Freedom in a series of Blog posts. In case you missed Let's Talk: Part One click here to go read it! :) Resourceful, yes? Yes. :)

So without further ado lets get on with Let's Talk: Part Two which is all about research!  I have been asked about the research I had to do for this historical novel and can you imagine that I have actually had people say that I probably didn't have to do much research. Wow, yes that floored me too.

What are the topics that I had to research?

  1. Medicine in the 1800's
  2. Herbs used for said medicine
  3. Sanitary conditions
  4. Slavery
  5. Slave Auctions
  6. Geography
  7. Underground railroad
  8. How cabins were built
  9. How ships were utilized in the Civil War
  10. Indian lifestyles
  11. Indian torture techniques
  12. Piracy
  13. Spirituality
  14. Inter-racial relationships 

And with all of this research, I still made some mistakes in the historical genre. One of the mistakes I was able to fix in the e-book edition but I still have the error in the printed book until I sell the ones I currently have. It will be fixed in the second printing of Journey to Freedom. The mistake was aspirin used for fever when in reality it was a herbal remedy that was used during that time.

Because this book travels, I also used modern day states as a reference even though at that time many of the states weren't defined. I stretched this just to be able to keep the reader up to date of where the characters were. I had one reader who didn't like this.

How about an excerpt from Journey to Freedom?

Back at the village, Greggory was telling the chief, “White men came to my tribe. They spoke to us about relocation. Nobody wanted to go, but I realize now they weren’t given a choice. We were taken many days’ walk from the village to a white man’s town. Many of the old ones and the babies died on the trip. We were given little to drink and even less to eat. There were many other tribes there. It was like it was a huge collection area of us.

“We were taken to a big building where we were to wait ‘til morning. There we sang songs and prayed to our gods to keep us safe. The next morning, in the chaos, I escaped. I was ten years old, and I was not going to be made to move from the only area I knew. I survived for two years on my own, and then I was captured when I was found sleeping in one of the plantation owners’ barns. I was taken to the nearest town and was chained in a building with many others.

“The next morning we were given water and were made to line up. Many men came to look at us like they would if they were buying a horse. They commanded us to do various things, but I was defiant of their wishes. One man got angry and shouted, but I still did not give in. The next thing I knew, he struck me across the face. I leapt at him. A man had come up behind me with a whip while the other man was yelling at me, and when I had leapt at the man, he struck me with the whip.

“The man left, and one by one I saw the men, women, and children around me start to disappear. I heard a large crowd outside but did not understand what was going on. I heard the cries of babies, and still I was confused. And then it was my turn. I was led up on a big, wooden deck. My hands and legs were bound in chains. Then a man started talking very fast. When he stopped talking, the man that had struck my face earlier came to me, grabbing me roughly. He almost threw me down the stairs. The man took me to a wagon and tied me to the back of it. I walked while he and the others rode. I later learned that he called us slaves, and I was supposed to be his. I did his work because I had no choice. Whipping was what I received more than once for not obeying. They would not let me practice any of my Indian ceremonies. When I tried, they used the whip on me. 

“I only stayed because I was a boy; I did not know anything, but as a man, I have found escape and am determined to reach freedom.”

Thank you for taking the time to visit and learn a bit about the story behind Journey to Freedom. Please visit my website to see more about me and my books. 

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K-Trina Meador, aka K. Meador