Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Interview Historical Novelist Teresa Irizarry

A historical look at tolerance and conscience through the lens of the life of Roger Williams

1.      What inspired you to write your book? My initial inspiration came from trying to understand my own ancestors, who did not write. I empathized as Roger Williams, who did write, survived a New England Winter alone. The more I read his writings, I realized his thoughts were relevant to today, though badly in need of edit and language translation to our modern vernacular. Historians first slandered him – notably Cotton Mather, the grandson of his antagonist John Cotton. Then he was all but forgotten. As the world became more secular and the slanders could be mistaken for compliments, we find people trying to make him the first secular founder—you wondered if they actually read his writings.  A pure historian view becomes a tomb of gaps in the record because of the fire of London and the burning of Providence. It ached to be told as a story.

2.      What is it about? Rekindled is the story of how Roger Williams is becomes the man who implements the first practical lasting separation of church and state. My training as an engineer led me to respect an actual implantation much higher than a treatise about what might be right.  While I might not have cared too much about this issue as I began, I recognize it is important now.

3.      What do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts for readers who finish your book? We can all be overcomers.  These people are survivors—not as individuals but as a community with convictions. You journey with their struggle as human beings, just as we are in very challenging circumstances.  When you finish that journey you cannot help but take back some of their skill at survival into your own world.

4.      What advice do you have for writers? Just do it. Like athletic training the first necessary ingredient is discipline. If you make writing your priority, you will get it done.

5.      Where do you think the book publishing industry is heading? With the advent of self-publishing the industry lost its funnel for delivering what it projected to be good books. I believe new crowd-sourcing paths are being forged to determine which books are worth reading. Bookstores and Amazon become a different kind of gatekeeper. I see a lot of opportunity for technology to aid the industry—from change control software to enable rapid iterations as editing and suggestions from readers come in, to ways to measure quality and reader enjoyment to know which books are great. I would love to know from the kindle universe what page people were on when they were able to put the book down. Those are all either the places the author made people think or areas for improvement that could be delivered to an author. Kindle has that data. Why don’t the authors?  It would be a great service to us!  I see that books could come out and experience a set improvements from feedback–in contrast the publishing world is set up to have a very few editors “test” and improve a book and then be done.

6.      What challenges did you have in writing your book? Reading 17th language and understanding what it really meant.

7.      If people can only buy one book this month, why should it be yours? Rekindled brings to life a world that is the crucible in which our values of freedom were formed. 

For more information visit the author’s website,

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2016

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