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MichaelCWhite
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Registered: ‎10-08-2007
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Welcome from the Author

Soul Catcher came to me several years ago when I was reading Russell Banks’ novel Cloudsplitter, in which he mentions slave catchers going north to capture fugitive slaves. I think we are all fascinated by the nature of evil, and slavery, arguably, has been America’s supreme manifestation of evil. With this as a starting point, I wondered how someone could make a living hunting people down and bringing them back in shackles to bondage. More than this, I wondered how such a man could justify his life, to others but more importantly, to himself. So began the idea for Cain. The next part of the story followed from this: what would happen if a slave catcher were bringing a runaway back to slavery and during the weeks of their journey together an emotional bond developed between them? With that the idea for Soul Catcher was born.

I began by reading everything I could find on fugitive slaves, slaves narratives, the plantation system, the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, which compelled Northerners to aid and abet slave catchers, and which gave slave catchers incredible legal rights to their prey, as well as books on slave catchers, who were called “soul catchers” by blacks. I read books on abolitionists and freed slave settlements, which led me to Timbuktu in upstate New York and finally, inescapably, to John Brown himself. To many he is still considered to be one of America’s first terrorists. To others he was the nation’s conscience, and before the first shots were fired at Fort Sumter, his raid on Harpers Ferry signaled the initial volleys of the Civil War. I visited his farm near Lake Placid, New York, and did further research on him and his involvement in abolishing slavery by any means, including violence.


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MichaelCWhite
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Re: Welcome from the Author

Hello all,

Just wanted to alert everyone that there is a very nice review in today's USA Today. In addition, the reviewer talks about Cain's "psychological" damage, a subject we have discussed in our club.

Michael


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ENG267
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Registered: ‎10-23-2007
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Re: Welcome from the Author

Michael:

Another nice review, though not unexpected. (There haven't been any bad ones for Soul Catcher.) How does this novel's good reception make you feel as a writer? And does the momentum you've been building add pressure to be even more successful with the novel you're currently writing?

ENG267
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MichaelCWhite
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Re: Welcome from the Author



ENG wrote:
Michael:

Another nice review, though not unexpected. (There haven't been any bad ones for Soul Catcher.) How does this novel's good reception make you feel as a writer? And does the momentum you've been building add pressure to be even more successful with the novel you're currently writing?

ENG




Good reviews are like a wonderful kiss from a beautiful woman. You love it and want more. For me, it makes me want to write an even better novel next time. It motivates me rather than intimidates.

I've never been asked that question before, and it was an insightful one.

Michael


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IBIS
Posts: 1,735
Registered: ‎11-22-2006
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Re: Welcome from the Author

Michael,

I read the positive review of SOUL CATCHER in USA Today. Your novel definitely deserves all the praise it garnered. You deserve to feel very good about it. And hopefully, it will encourage, and inspire you to write more wonderful novels.

The novel is studded with literary allusions, from Milton to Shakespeare, the Bible, Greek myths (naming his horse Hermes is so precious!) that elevates it to a level higher than mere historical novel genre. I think that the wealth of classical references raises SOUL CATCHER to the level of fine literature.

I've given much thought to Cain's classical reading materials. I hope to chat more with you and others bookclub members about this rich stew of symbolic parallels of literary references and Cain's inner life.

IBIS
IBIS

"I am a part of everything that I have read."
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MichaelCWhite
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Registered: ‎10-08-2007
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Re: Welcome from the Author

Some wonderful discussion points to pursue. I've been doing three straight nights of readings and signings, but I will get to respond to many of the questions and topics tomorrow. And thanks for your very gracious compliments about SC.

Michael


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IBIS
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Re: Welcome from the Author

Is the greater Boston area in your book tours?

I would love to attend one of your readings (and, of course, get you to autograph my first edition!)
IBIS

"I am a part of everything that I have read."
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vivico1
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Welcome from the Author


IBIS wrote:
Is the greater Boston area in your book tours?

I would love to attend one of your readings (and, of course, get you to autograph my first edition!)


Speaking of autographs, Michael, for those of us that out way out of your book tour area, do you have bookplates that we might be able to get to put in our book for this club? I would love to have one. Vivian
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
Author
MichaelCWhite
Posts: 98
Registered: ‎10-08-2007
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Re: Welcome from the Author

I don't have bookplates but if anyone wants me to sign one or a book itself, just mail it to me along with an SASE with US postage attached (so that I can just stick it in my mailbox--I live about 10 miles from the nearest post office), I would be happy to sign and return. My address is: 35 Blanks Blvd., Guilford, CT 06437. I just hope with the USA Today review I don't end up getting flooded. Right now it's fine.

Michael


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Fozzie
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Welcome from the Author



MichaelCWhite wrote:
Hello all,

Just wanted to alert everyone that there is a very nice review in today's USA Today. In addition, the reviewer talks about Cain's "psychological" damage, a subject we have discussed in our club.

Michael



http://www.usatoday.com/life/books/reviews/2007-10-31-soul-catcher_N.htm
Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
Author
MichaelCWhite
Posts: 98
Registered: ‎10-08-2007
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Re: Welcome from the Author

Thanks for posting the review, Laura.

Michael


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