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Yet They Went to War

Author Interview
James D Nealon Author Interview

Confederacy of Fenians follows multiple characters through an alternative historical telling of the Civil War. I think this original idea is intriguing. How did you come up with this idea and develop it into a story?

I’ve always thought it was interesting to explore historical events from multiple points of view. I remember wondering long ago what the Galls thought of Julius Ceasar. It’s especially interesting during the American Civil War since culturally and linguistically northerners and southerners were so similar, yet they went to war and over 600,000 people died. The idea for this book came from combining my lifelong interests in the Civil War and Irish history, and my penchant for asking “what if?”.

With each chapter having a different point of view, were there any characters that you especially enjoyed writing for?

I love all my children equally. That said, I enjoyed writing from the perspective of John Lane since he was my real-life ancestor. I knew the bare outlines of his life so I found it rewarding to fill in the blanks. I also very much enjoyed writing the repartee between women and men – Viola and John Lane; Varina and Jefferson Davis; and Nelly and George McClellan. Those were some of the most satisfying parts to write.

How much research did you undertake for this book and how much time did it take to put it all together?

I’ve been reading about the Civil War since the early 1960s and about Irish history since the early 1970s, so it’s fair to say that 60 years of research went into the book. That said, I did almost no research specifically related to the story.  

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I have a sequel to “Confederacy of Fenians” sketched out in my head, but I’m currently working on a collection of (hopefully humorous) essays and an unrelated screenplay, so the sequel will have to wait in line.  But if the public demand is strong enough…!

Author Links: GoodReads | Website

IN THE WAKE OF THE CONFEDERATE VICTORY AT GETTYSBURG, Britain declares war on the United States and invades from Canada. Seizing opportunity, Irish patriots in the Union Army ally themselves with the Confederacy and the British in exchange for a promise of Irish freedom following the war. Can Lincoln and the Union hold out against this powerful alliance? Success or failure rests on the shoulders of an unlikely but well-known figure.

Confederacy Of Fenians

The Confederacy of Fenians by James D. Nealon is a compelling historical fiction novel set in the 1800’s that offers an alternate take on the American civil war. This engaging book presents itself through a series of perspectives and narratives, each chapter from the view of one of the main characters. It explores what would have happened had the British intervened on the side of the Confederacy. The Confederacy is ready to break up the north but do Lincoln and the Union army have what it takes to stop them?

The well-conceived stories and lives of each of these characters overlap and interlock, creating twists at every corner. The author’s ability to connect the character’s accounts into a cohesive storyline is well done. Nealon does a great job illustrating the true complexity of the American Civil War and simultaneously allowing for an intricate fictional journey.

This elaborate story is written from a different point of view in each chapter. It may be a little bit difficult to track who each of the characters is at first, but as readers get further along, they are able to build the complete picture. I felt this made it hard to keep up with the development of the plot at times. However, the consistency with which the characters told their versions of the stories allowed readers a better understanding of the plot and how each story connects.

I loved how this novel gave the physical perspectives of the characters as well as metaphorical perspectives that stemmed from their actions. Being privy to each character’s thoughts and narrative gave this novel strength. There are also three strong female characters in this novel, showcasing how despite living in a time when women were seen and not heard, they fought for what they believed in and strived to make a difference.

Confederacy of Fenians is an alternate reality historical fiction novel with mixed science fiction elements. This is a solid novel with exciting and shocking twists and page-turning chapters that perfectly enraptures a war within a war and what one will do for the survival of their people.

Pages: 320 | ASIN : B09MR86R58

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