The Second Book of Morgan
By Morgan Gates
Part of the upbringing of any good Southern Gentleman is that "One does not brag on himself" a gentleman's reputation should speak for itself! Unfortunately, that is not the world we live in today. In today's world, everyone is tooting their own horns so loudly that such gentlemanly manners no longer apply, I am afraid. So please forgive me Momma and whoever the Patron Saint of Good Manners may be as I announce the publication of my second book. The Long Road Home is a collection of seven Historic Fiction short stories; all are based on actual historical events, all are set in or have some connection to Vicksburg and or Mississippi. All are of the Civil War, or earlier and all involve struggles to survive in one way or another, and inevitably to go home."
I am a storyteller and historian by trade nowadays. Notice I put storyteller first, because if you can't catch a person's attention, then you aren't really transferring any significant amount of information. I've read – or at least tried to read – too many books in the history genre that read like a dictionary or even worse the so and so begat so and so sections of the Bible, and that is a shame! History is, or should be, entertaining! It is after all the story of us! Long before anyone figured out how to draw some abstract symbols on a clay tablet or animal skin and call it a word, people passed their history down by telling stories. Around the campfires, each night the old man (or woman) of the village would tell of some great hero or a catastrophic fight for survival, and knowledge and wisdom were passed on to another generation. That is in essence what I do on my tours, both daytime historic tours and night time ghost tours, ghost tours are really little more than dressed up historical tours (Oops! Maybe I shouldn't have said that, don't tell anyone OK?) Stories on a tour are by necessity rather short "soundbites" is the modern catchphrase I believe. Sometimes; however, the story begs for a more detailed telling. Alternately sometimes you have just a fragment of a story, incomplete, in some way but enough to suggest a more complete version.
Enter writing a Book! A decade ago, when I first started giving historical tours, if you had whipped out your crystal ball and told me I would one day write a book, I would have laughed at you. Yet as time when by I came across those stories that needed more telling than just a short blurb on a dark sidewalk. Haunted Vicksburg Ghost Tours are my bread and butter, so it was natural that my book would be a companion to that tour. It was a long time coming, a story here, a story there, a few false starts a brick wall or two, but with a little help, OK a lot of help, from my partner in time Meshea, my book “A Walk on the Darkside” was published last year. I'm pretty proud of my book, and it sells pretty well on the tours and in bookstores in Vicksburg (Don't worry Stephen King you have nothing to fear). This book had kept my creative juices flowing during many an offseason, but now that it was in print "what next"? WARNING: THE SURGEON GENERAL HAS DETERMINED THAT WRITING CAN BE ADDICTIVE! I began casting about for my next project. Several topics were started and abandoned… Remember the scene in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone when Harry is getting his first wand and is told … “The wand chooses you Mr. Potter” well apparently that applies to books as well.
Well book two chose me, and things came together much more quickly this time, the first time is always the hardest they say! In truth bits and pieces of this book have been circulating in my head for quite some time as well, but when I put pen to paper (ok fingers to keyboard) this time the word flowed out more readily. So, what is book two you ask? More Ghost Stories, nope not this time! Historical Fiction is my genre this go round!
I have come across a number of fragments of stories, stories not in and of themselves whole! Around these stories, I have woven a fictional whole.
Now that I’ve made my plug, allow me to humbly request that you consider buying a copy of my new book, if you have ever taken one of my tours or regularly follow this blog, I think you will enjoy it. I have included a link below where it can be purchased directly from Lulu, and it should be soon available from other venues in Vicksburg. Thanks, and may your road home be short and your struggles few!
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