Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Interview With hHstory Author Arthur S. Lefkowitz

1. What kind of books do you write?  I write books about the American Revolution.  I have published four books on the subject to date with another one coming this summer.   I like many areas of history but I decided that I had to study one era in depth in order to write authoritatively and get ideas for new books.  My diligence paid-off when I could not find a detailed account of the British invasion of New Jersey.  The campaign was the closest that the British came to a military victory in the American Revolution.  The breakthrough came when I attended a lecture by James Thomas Flexner, the Pulitzer Prize winning author of George Washington, the Indispensable Man.  I talked to Mr. Flexner following his presentation and I told him my book idea.  He looked at me and said, “young man you should write that book.”   That was all I needed to hear and the rest is history when I published my first book titled The Long Retreat, The Calamitous American Defense of New Jersey 1776.  

2.  What is my latest book about?   My latest published work is “Benedict Arnold’s Army.”   It is the story of the little-known heroic Arnold Expedition which was commanded by then Col. Benedict Arnold.  The Expedition was an army of 1.000 patriot volunteers led by Arnold who attacked the British held city of Quebec through the Maine wilderness.   I made the decision to write my Arnold Expedition book when I saw that historians were taking a more balanced view of Arnold by describing his contributions to the patriot cause prior to his duplicity.   Besides, the Arnold Expedition is one of the greatest adventure stories in American history.  It makes the later Lewis & Clark Expedition seem like a walk in a National Park. 

3. What inspired you to write your forthcoming book, which is titled “Benedict Arnold in the Company of Heroes”?    As I was researching my narrative of the Arnold Expedition, I learned about the remarkable men who trekked to Quebec with Arnold.   However, I had to stay focused on the story of the Arnold Expedition, and I set my research into the lives of Arnold’s subordinates aside with the idea of writing a separate book about them.   My forthcoming book identifies these men and tells their stories.   The book also presents a new interpretation of Arnold’s career by explaining that he showed the young patriots on the Arnold Expedition a bold and inspiring style of leadership which they later adopted to the benefit of American independence.  

4. What did I do before I became an author?   I am not a full-time author and since I am not dependent on my books for income, I can write about whatever subject interests me.   Several full-time writers have told me that they are jealous of my books because they have to publish subjects that sell rather than what they would like to write about.    

5. How do I feel being a published author?    I feel like a baseball fan that sits in the dugout with his favorite team at every game.  I am thrilled that my books have been well received by many popular authors who reference them in their works and seek-out my opinion and advice.   The reward that I get from writing goes far beyond, as George Washington said, any pecuniary consideration.  

6. What would you tell a struggling writer? My advice to struggling authors is to write constantly to improve your skills.  Train yourself to tell stories that are organized and tightly written with no wasted words, some brief quotes to add diversion and numerous interesting details.   If you want to write a novel, put it in some appealing historical period so you can include accurate and rich details.    Examples of best sellers in this category are Gore Vidal’s Burr and Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier.  

7. Where do I see book publishing headed?   The electronic book craze is going to accelerate among general readers.   However, hardcover books will continue to appeal to serious readers with special interests like history, nature and art.   I also believe that hardcover books can regain market share by making them more appealing with attractive bindings and beautiful illustrations and maps.   I support this idea by commissioning original artwork for my books.   A beautifully crafted book is a joy to own and an object of lasting value.  

Download a free Warren Adler novel -- Never Too Late for Love http://www.warrenadler.com/giveaway?Code=MC1  Warren is a client of mine at Media Connect. His treasure chest of novels will entertain you for many hours.

Have You Seen This Past Week’s Posts?

Why People Buy Your Book
You Can Use Crowdfunding On Your Next Book -- Turn Your Idea Into A Business http://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2012/06/crowdfunding-your-next-book.html

What The Bestseller List Sales Numbers Reveal

How Promoters, Authors & Publishers Get Others to Say YES

The Appeal & Necessity Of Fiction

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person.

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