Frequently Asked Questions

And some not so frequently asked, but just to be friendly...

How many volumes of The Liberty & Property Legends are planned?

There are six volumes planned in the saga. Almost five volumes down (volume five has three books) and one to go!

Does it matter if the books are read out of order?

While the novels in the series are not stand alone books, there are written in 'story so far' devices for those who begin reading the series from a later book. I promise you these are not boring! I couldn't stand it myself if they were.
     It is recommended that a reader starts with HEARTLAND On the Side of Angels – and don't tell anyone the ending (that is important as it is the catalyst for everything that follows)! Then read EMPIRE FOR LIBERTY Dangerous Lullaby because it begins where HEARTLAND left off.
      Follow these crucial volumes with FIRST COUNTRY Tinged with Rose and THE HOUR OF EVIDENCE Deceived.

     All the volumes are designed to follow on directly from the one before. You don't want to miss a page, believe me! 


Volume One: HEARTLAND 
Volume Five: A PLACE AMONG HEROES, Books 1 & 2


Do you have a favourite character to write?

I have a lot of fun writing the supporting characters (to use a movie term). And there are always lots of those. I think they are integral to the story, they add texture and structure, and they really spice up the mixture. They give realistic and much-needed definition to the world of the main characters.


Would you like to live in the time and place your books are set?

How ever much I would like to live out my days on the Diamond-T, I think I'm too attached to modern medicine, my skincare regime and my Tempur mattress. But I think to live in a world less complicated and without cars would be heavenly for a bit. But then I would also love to check out the dinosaurs, or be there when Homo erectus harvested fire, well, tamed it for domestic use about one million years ago! Imagine the aroma of that first roast dinner in history. MasterChef eat your heart out.

Have you been to the places and locations where your novels are set?

Some of the best times in my life have been my travels with Tank to nearly all the places, cities, towns and locations in the series. From sea to shining sea, in fact! From San Francisco on the west coast to Provincetown on the knuckle of Cape Cod, from Denver to Cheyenne and Laramie, driving along the Lincoln Highway to Omaha and on the Amtrak from there to Chicago; New York and Boston.  Pic at right is of Tank & me in Newport RI, checking out how the Vanderbilts of this world lived in the Gilded Age.


What is Tank & Ferry Entertainment?

Tank and Ferry Entertainment is the brain child of Frank and Terri Sedmak. The company has been set up to transform my Liberty & Property Legends dream into reality.

Why 'entertainment'?

Creativity is a broad and inviting canvas. And you never know where that road may take you. As one lovely acquaintance put it recently: 'you won't have to change your business card!'

How much research did you do for the novels?

Research involved reading a score of books on American history, viewing documentaries, and hours and hours on the web where you can travel the world and have access to the world's libraries and archives. Old photographs, postcards, sketches, paintings and maps of all kinds are a treasure trove. For some of the best research ever you can't beat travelling to the location and setting; I've been blessed to be able to do this and found treasures that books and the internet can't come close to. And being right there in the heart of your world is profound.


Why is poetry so featured in your books?

One, because I'm passionate about poetry; and two, because you have to remember that this is era when there is no TV, no internet, no Facebook or twitter or blog, no radio, no movies... People read a lot! Or went to the theatre and concerts. Or attended lectures or poetry readings, and recitals and such. We talk about our favourite TV program, they discussed their favourite works of literature. It seems fair.


Is it difficult to write historical fiction?

Being historical and fictional at the same time is intensely interesting, creative and fun, as well as challenging. A voyage of discovery, an adventure, and who doesn't like that?
    It's where imagination and fact meet and get to know one another. For me it's about the characters and the story, not about how many hundreds of intricate details of life in America in the 1880's I can squish into my novel. As for dragging my brain out of 1885 and back into present day... now, that's difficult!

Who is John Locke? Why is he significant in your novels?

John Locke was the great English philosopher who defined liberty & property in works such as Two Treatises of Government in the 1600's. His work profoundly influenced the founding fathers of America to create 'life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness'. It has been said that America was founded upon the experiment of an ideal. Luke, like all his fellow countrymen before and after him, discovers what this means for him and for his life.

                                   John Locke                                                Henry Wadsworth Longfellow                 

Why do you love Longfellow's poetry so much?

It's simply beautiful. His long poems are wondrous... the astounding rhythm and the beautiful imagery in The Song of Hiawatha; the romantic drama and perfect characterisation in The Courtship of Miles Standish, and they are just two of his best known ones.  Every poet has a unique voice and, thankfully, we are free to choose which ones satisfy our ears. He is one of the greats.

        In terms of my saga, you may remember Luke's great great grandparents, Matthew and Elizabeth, came to the New World in search of freedom, took up the Revolutionary cause and left a liberty and property legacy. Longfellow is a great American poet whose poetry, in content, style and sentiment, is able to span the distance of years from the days of colonial America, to the Revolution where Liberty & Property was the catchcry, to the era in which my novels are set.


How do you deal with your characters dying and writing their deaths?

This is a tough question. The plot is key to handling it. Everything happens for a reason. I do grieve for them. And it is hard to do the rewrites on some chapters involving such characters because of what happens to them. The deaths are seen through the eyes of the various characters. If a death comes across as insignificant at any time, it is because that is how the characters see it or are coping with it, not because I personally don't regret every life lost in the course of the story.

Any more questions or comments? Please contact me and I'll do my darndest to answer them!