The Journeyman Chronicles series of novels about the American Revolution is, in many ways, the latest nexus of my own life’s journey. Twenty-two years as a military officer grounded me in the study of war, military operations, and the culture of warriors. This was followed by 25 years as a college professor where I earned a PhD and taught students how to do research. Writing was a focus for both careers. Writing reports and various communications for senior leaders is a major skill expected of military officers. Professors must be well-grounded in written communication. I have often mentioned that the Journeyman Chronicles was not my first book; it was my first novel. But before that, I had written several other book-length texts, including that most daunting example of all writing, the doctoral dissertation. There were many other aspects of the Journeyman Chronicles that came together in Journeyman: The Bridge.
I’ve spent years studying various facets of the American Revolution. I amassed number of papers from the Journal of the American Revolution and other academic publications, such as the historical society journals of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. I had stacks of random information on topics such as Revolutionary War battles, 18th century lifestyles, 18th century American road maps, 18th century foodways, and other areas of interest. I collected dozens of books on military topics. Every academic will agree that new information breeds new knowledge which begets curiosity in sometimes unexpected directions. I gathered a wealth of data over several years through casual data collection with no real aim or agenda. When it came to writing The Journeyman Chronicles series, that collected research was pivotal.
The Journeyman Chronicles books are influenced by an experiential element. My father collected antique guns, such as 18th Century Frontier Rifles, Colonial-era pistols, swords, and uniform items. As the 1970’s and the American Revolutionary War Bicentennial drew nearer, antique weapons constantly flowed through our home. Every weapon was thoroughly investigated by my father, who was always glad to share his findings with me. I took everything in, learning a lot about all those old weapons. I learned of Colonial gunsmith basics, how those old guns functioned, and the details of Colonial rifle making. While we had a very strict focus on gun safety, I was allowed to handle these weapons from an early age.