Cindy's plea

I’m getting a lot of email that sounds just like Cindy’s comment (below, copied here)

[…] My heart is breaking here — you must make this poor soul happy by continuing to post excerpts from the book because I can’t wait until August!!!

Sorry, my passion for your books got the best of me….guess I’ll have to reread the first three. Also, rented “The Last of the Mohicans” because I saw it referenced a few times along w/ your books and did not know Nathaniel and Chinahook (spell?) were characters in that movie…does your book continue their adventures or did your books come first or what?

Waiting impatiently in Georgia, Cindy Hendley

My reactions: it’s gratifying that readers are so caught up in the story, and I really am sorry about the delay. What can I say? That’s publishing for you. I hope you’ll find the book worth the wait. As far as excerpts are concerned, I’m not sure that it’s such a good idea, but if I hear from enough readers about this, I’ll rethink it. And I am still planning some kind of give-away of an advanced reader copy (ARC) or two, either by means of a trivia contest or some other way. Maybe having to do with the infamous Map.

Now, regarding the movie The Last of the Mohicans — I’m glad you asked, because there’s a lot of confusion about this.

James Fenimore Cooper wrote a series of books
called the Leatherstocking Tales. His main character was Natty
[Nathaniel] Bumppo (also called Hawkeye, and several other names),
and seemed to be based on the legends that grew up around the
real life character Daniel Boone. One of his novels was The
Last of the Mohicans
; another, set in Hawkeye’s later life,
was The Pioneers.

The Last of the Mohicans has been
filmed a number of times, the last and most memorable by the director
and producer Michael Mann. That is the movie staring Daniel Day-Lewis
and Madeline Stowe. In Mann’s version of the story, Hawkeye’s
real name was Nathaniel Po.

I wasn’t so much interested in retelling
the story of The Last of the Mohicans — that has been
done often enough — but I was interested in Hawkeye’s later life.
So I set out to do a few things: first, write a very loose retelling
of The Pioneers (keeping some of the plot, some of the
characters, and some of the themes, especially the environmental
ones); second, to tell the story from the female perspective (Cooper
was a fine storyteller, but he didn’t write women very well —
they come across as idealized and two-dimensional); third, to
put my own spin on the legend of the frontiersmen who populated
the New-York frontier; fourth, to try my best not to contribute
to the stereotypes rampant in literature about the Mohawk. I hoped
to portray them as a people who survived in spite of great hardship.

Because I wanted to put my own version on paper, I changed Hawkeye’s
name yet again. Not Bumppo or Po or Boone, but Bonner. So I have
a Dan’l Bonner and his son, Nathaniel Bonner.

So the bottom line: this series is not a sequel to anything, not to Cooper’s books or Mann’s movie, but a departure from the fictional world that Cooper created.

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