Real History Is Insane(ly Interesting)


I recently watched an interview of a man who said he hated history as a kid. For that matter, he didn’t like it as a teen, as a college student, as a teacher or as a principle.

Why not?

As it turns out, he was learning it all wrong. And once he started learning it right, he became so fascinated and engaged that he turned history into his career.

That’s the whole point of July’s Author of the Month spotlight on Founding America book 3: Proving America. It’s to show how intriguing and educational and even entertaining history can be when taught the right way.

On another “right way” note, how about you and your writing? Are you Innovative Editing Author of the Month material?

Self-published or traditionally published, fiction or nonfiction, or an Innovative Editing client or outsider… I’d love to consider you for an upcoming post featuring you and your book!

All you need to do to get the process started is reach out right here. Right after you read all about Proving America and how plot-worthy history can be.

July’s Author of the Month: Jeannette DiLouie

Featured Title: Proving America

Genre: Historical Fiction

Age Appropriate: 14+

Bio: Jeannette DiLouie was born a New Jersey girl and will die the same even if she grew up in Pennsylvania, lived in Maryland and is now back in PA. She’s also a cookie dough-eating, travel-obsessed bookworm and editor who loves helping others reach their own writing goals and dreams.

Ethnically half-Italian, Jeannette is tragically addicted to carbohydrates. Ethnically half-Scottish, she’s counting down the days when she can go visit that beautiful land again. And being just under five-foot three, she happily claims her short-girl rights to climb on any shelf or counter she needs to.

Jeannette: Hi, Jeannette. Looks like you’re back a third time to feature yet another novel out of your total collection of 12. Do you ever do anything but write novels?

Jeannette: Ha! I wish I had time to write novels these days. Between me not having any time apart from Innovative Editing work and Amazon’s publishing platform taking an appalling turn, Proving America took way too long to publish.

Jeannette: I could ask you about that Amazon line of yours, but let’s focus on your newest novel instead. What’s it about? Is it any good?

Jeannette: Oh my goodness, it’s so good! I’m talking about really, really, really fascinating and engaging stuff here. Though I can only take so much credit for that when Proving America’s historical setting is so rife with story-ready drama.

I pretty much just came up with a protagonist and let him run around the Chesapeake Bay area in August 1814 – when, spoiler alert – the British burned down the White House – and September 1814, when our national anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner, was written.

I can’t tell you how much absolute drama there was in the real-life story. You’ll just have to read my barely fictional account of it to understand what I mean.

Jeannette: Was there a particular event or character that caused the most drama?

Jeannette: Yes! Yes. Yes.

That would be the British navy’s Rear-Admiral George Cockburn. A last name that isn’t pronounced the way you think it is, by the way. Regardless, I can’t stand the man. He was so full of himself in all the most obnoxious ways possible.

That’s not to say that Cockburn was the worst villain in history. He wasn’t. Only the most aggravating.

I swear, if I found a time machine, I think I’d use it to go back to 1814 and just punch him in the nose. Not that it would do any good, but it might make me feel a bit better.

Jeannette: Wow. Tell me how you really feel, Jeannette.

Jeannette: I think I just did.

Jeannette: Fair enough. Any other historical details you’d like to vent about while you’ve got the platform?

Jeannette: How about the fact that almost everyone involved was an absolute nitwit? The Americans were too busy fighting among themselves politically to save their capital or, too many times, their dignity.

Meanwhile, the British were too busy being pretentious hypocrites to save themselves a whole lot of unnecessary loss. The Native Americans were too busy eating people. Literally. The French were too busy thinking they could take over the world. And the Canadians had their fair share of self-righteous justification that they shamelessly put out there on full display too.

Oh, there were brave individuals on all sides worth mentioning (except for maybe the French?). But the larger conflict was a melodramatic comedy of errors.

Jeannette: Is there anything good you can say about it?

Jeannette: Well, America got an absolutely spectacular and stirring national anthem out of it. And I got an absolutely spectacular story.

Jeannette: Speaking of such, your main character in Proving America is a soldier. A man. But isn’t this supposed to be book 3 of your Founding America series? I mean, your main character in the first two books was a female.

Jeannette: On the one hand, yes, Proving America is definitely book 3 of the Founding America series. And it is built off the first two.

But it can also be read as a standalone, since it’s set some 30 years after Designing America ends. That timeline difference makes it much easier to switch protagonists, especially since I needed to tell this particular story through the eyes of a soldier without any gender politics going on.

There was enough other stuff to talk about without adding that kind of thing in.

Jeannette: Is this the last one in the series then? Or are you planning on skipping forward another 30 years with another Founding America novel?

Jeannette: Nope! That’s it. I’m ready to get started in on a whole new series now about teens from today who end up accidentally traveling back in time to moments in American history significant to their ethnic origins.

It’s only a matter of finding the time to get started.

Jeannette: Well, I sincerely hope that you do! And soon.

Jeannette: Same here. It’s going to be good!

Jeannette: As always, our last question has to be about where readers can find you online. So… where can readers find you online?

Jeannette: Here’s where I am…

As always, thanks for reading. And I hope you enjoy Proving America! When you do, let me know how shocked you were by the real historical details.

I know I certainly was.

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