The Making of The Patriots

An American Family Portrait

Video Podcast

SHOW NOTES:

This is the fifth in a series of videos in which I take a look back at the making of my 9-volume novel series, An American Family Portrait, on the 20th Anniversary of the publishing of the first book in the series, The Puritans. This video features Book 3, The Patriots.

  • With Book 3 in the series, we enter more familiar American history, the Revolutionary War.
  • While we are proud as Christians of the role our faith played in the founding of our country, the decision to take up arms was not an easy one for Christians in 1776.
  • A key question had to be addressed: At what point does a Christian take up arms against his own government?
  • The colonists were, for the most part, believers who attended church regularly and read their Bibles. They were familiar with New Testament scriptures that taught respect for authority, such as:
    • 1 Timothy 2:1-2: I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone — for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful, quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
    • 1 Peter 2:13-17: Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right . . . . Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.
  • The colonists were familiar with the examples of Jesus, the apostles and early Christians, and the Puritans who suffered hardship, imprisonment and death, yet who never advocated the overthrow of an oppressive government.
  • I attempt to portray the tension and conflict of the colonial uprising with twin brothers, Jacob and Esau; both patriots, one to the colonies, one to England.
  • There are four story lines: Jarod accompanies Benjamin Franklin in a diplomatic mission to France; Jacob follows Gen. George Washington; Esau follows Gen. Benedict Arnold, and Anne and Mercy portray life on the home front.
  • Several humorous episodes balance the tension and suspense, including: Abigail Matteson, a character inspired by Patience Wright, a wax sculptress; and Mercy Morgan who dispels the tension of a dinner argument by quoting etiquette lessons learned by every colonial schoolboy.
  • Jack shares one incident of a reader who got so caught up with the emotions of the story, he threw the novel across the room.
  • CORRECTIONS: John Hancock signed the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution. And readers can’t throw ebooks across the room, but they can toss ereaders. (Well, duh. What was Jack thinking?)

CLICK HERE to start reading the American Family Portrait series in minutes!

Other episodes in this series: 

VIDEO

  1. Why I Write Christian Historical Fiction
  2. The Incredible Power of Historical Fiction
  3. The Making of The Puritans
  4. The Making of The Colonists

AUDIO

  1. Sports on Sundays: Keeping the Sabbath in the Days of The Puritans
  2. My 13-year Odyssey to Getting Published
  3. John Winthrop: The Forgotten Founding Father
  4. A Middle-Aged Male Author Attempts to Write Poetry From a Teenage Character
  5. 300-year-old Bible stolen

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AUDIO: The Incredible Lives of Patience Wright and John Andre

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300-Year-Old Bible Stolen

heroes in history

An American Family Portrait

Audio Podcast

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SHOW NOTES:

In this series of podcast episodes, I take a look at historical figures of the past and how the past, at times, intersects the present. Today’s episode: A 300-year-old Bible is stolen.

  • While I have imagined what it would be like to lose a precious family heirloom Bible in The Colonists and The Guardians, Tim Shier of Marysville, OH experienced it. Entrusted to him for safekeeping, the family Bible was stolen from his house.
  • The Shier’s family Bible was printed in Germany in 1706 and contained the hand-written record of family births and deaths for seven generations.
  • The thieves were caught, but had disposed of the Bible in a bin.
  • Eventually, the Bible turned up. It had been purchased on Ebay, but the buyers didn’t want to part with it unless they were compensated for it.
  • Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 171 raised $405.00 to buy the Bible.
  • In a ceremony at Marysville High School, the Lodge returned the Bible to a tearful Tim Shier.
  • In Book 2, The Colonists, Philip Morgan recovers the Morgan family Bible and his life is changed by the experience.
  • In Book 9, The Guardians, the Morgan family Bible is stolen. Is it recovered? Interesting question since it’s the last book in the series . . . .

CLICK HERE to start reading the American Family Portrait series in minutes!

Other episodes in this series: 

VIDEO

  1. Why I Write Christian Historical Fiction
  2. The Incredible Power of Historical Fiction
  3. The Making of The Puritans
  4. The Making of The Colonists

AUDIO

  1. Sports on Sundays: Keeping the Sabbath in the Days of The Puritans
  2. My 13-year Odyssey to Getting Published
  3. John Winthrop: The Forgotten Founding Father
  4. A Middle-Aged Male Author Attempts to Write Poetry From a Teenage Character

Jack’s Next Post
VIDEO: The Making of The Patriots

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A Middle-Aged Male Author Attempts to Write Poetry From a Teenage Character

heroes in history

An American Family Portrait

Audio Podcast

Play

SHOW NOTES:

In this series of podcast episodes, I take a look at some of my memories of writing the American Family Portrait series. Today’s episode: A middle-aged man attempts to write poetry from the point of view of a 15-year-old girl.

  • One of the challenges every author faces is creating believable characters of different time periods, ages, races, cultures, gender and species.
  • The scariest challenge for me is writing from the point of view of a woman.
  • The Pride and the Passion, my novel set in South Africa, is the first book I wrote entirely from the point of view of a woman.
  • In The Colonists, I have a 15-year-old female character who is a poet, Anne Pierpont. After several failed attempts at writing poetry from her point of view, I turned to two experts for help:
    • Judith Deem Dupree graciously agreed to let me use one of her poems that fit Anne Pierpont’s character perfectly. You can read it in The Colonists, page 377.
    • My daughter, Elizabeth, a teenager at the time, wrote a love poem from Anne Pierpont’s point of view and did an excellent job. You can read her poem on page 417.
  • I credited both Judith and Elizabeth for their poems in the Acknowledgement section of The Colonists. If you don’t read the Acknowledgments in novels, you should. It gives you a personal insight into the character of the author and the writing of the novel.

CLICK HERE to start reading the American Family Portrait series in minutes!

Other episodes in this series: 

VIDEO

  1. Why I Write Christian Historical Fiction 
  2. The Incredible Power of Historical Fiction
  3. The Making of The Puritans
  4. The Making of The Colonists

AUDIO

  1. Sports on Sundays: Keeping the Sabbath in the Days of The Puritans
  2. My 13-year Odyssey to Getting Published
  3. John Winthrop: The Forgotten Founding Father

Jack’s Next Post
AUDIO: The real-life story of a stolen 300-year-old Bible

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The Making of The Colonists

This is the fourth in a series of videos in which I take a look back at the making of my 9-volume novel series, An American Family Portrait, on the 20th Anniversary of the publishing of the first book in the series, The Puritans.

PREVIOUS VIDEOS

  1. Why I Write Christian Historical Fiction
  2. The Incredible Power of Historical Fiction
  3. The Making of The Puritans

PREVIOUS AUDIOS

  1. Sports on Sundays: Keeping the Sabbath in the days of The Puritans
  2. My 13-year Odyssey to Getting Published
  3. John Winthrop – The Forgotten Founding Father

SHOW NOTES

  • As a Christian people, we are one generation away from godlessness.
  • I created the Morgan family Bible tradition to include the telling of a family’s spiritual heritage and a commissioning of the next generation.
  • The American colonies were prospering, but they were also becoming increasingly secular.
  • The story of The Colonists is a story of three siblings who, having lost the spiritual leadership of their father, must discover their own faith.
  • It was in the outlying districts and aboard pirate ships (of all places) where democracy first took root.
  • The first great national movement to unite the contentious colonies was a spiritual movement – The Great Awakening revival.

In the video I mention four novels I co-authored with Dr. Bill Bright of Campus Crusade for Christ. Each of the novels is set during a time of great spiritual revival in America. You can learn more about this exciting series here: The Great Awakening Series.

 CLICK HERE to start reading An American Family Portrait in minutes!

Upcoming Episodes:

AUDIO: Jack tells how he wrote love poetry for a 15-year-old girl character

AUDIO: Jack relates a modern day news story about a 300-year-old stolen Bible

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John Winthrop – The Forgotten Founding Father

heroes in history

 An American Family Portrait

Audio Podcast

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Show Notes

In this series of podcast episodes, I take a look at the Inspirational History of real-life persons and events who lived during the time in which my featured novel was historically set. Today’s hero: John Winthrop, Puritan leader.

  • What makes John Winthrop a hero? A hero makes sacrifices for a great cause.
  • Born in wealth, John Winthrop sacrificed to finance an expedition of 11 ships to the New World.
  • With his wife pregnant at the time of sailing, John Winthrop made personal sacrifices to lead the Puritans to the New World.
  • When the colonists were ready to turn back to England, with a speech Winthrop inspired them to build a “city upon a hill” that all men could look up to for inspiration.
  • The government and court documents of those early settlers is replete with references to Scripture, indicating their belief that they were beginning a new nation based on faith in God.

 CLICK HERE to start reading An American Family Portrait in minutes!

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THE COLONISTS: Book 2 in the American Family Portrait series

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