Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self. Cyril Connolly (1903 - 1974)


The Last April Book Tour + Guest Post

I began writing The Last April after I was shocked to discover that my hometown, Columbus, Ohio, had the largest Confederate cemetery outside of the Confederacy. As much as we learned about the Civil War in school (it’s the majority of our history lessons in Ohio since, as President Lincoln said, “Ohio helped win the war”), I didn’t learn about Camp Chase until I was an adult. It was fascinating to think that at the beginning of the war, Confederate officers walked Columbus streets freely… but midway, the climate changed.

I believe that as a nation, we haven’t really “moved on” from the Civil War, as evidenced by our continued discussion about how to properly memorialize what happened. The era is so interesting to me, because it changed so much about our national identity. It was the Civil War that changed the perception from a federation of states, to a nation. In this current political climate, I felt compelled to write about another time in our history where we citizens were deeply divided… and we managed to make it through.

Because The Last April is historical fiction, it took me three years to research, and over a year to write and edit. Some people think that’s a long time to work on one project… and I guess it is! I’ve realized that writing doesn’t feel like a choice anymore, it’s a compulsion. Something starts to bubble up, some sort of theme about identity and personal expression that cannot stay inside anymore.

I like to write for younger teens and children because books can be such heavy influencers for your lens on the world. A book helps you learn how to choose to interpret and process events around you. I feel a lot of my empathy came from reading about characters who were unlike me as a child (from a demographic perspective), but at their core, were very much like me, personality-wise.

For you readers out there, I hope you enjoy this book for its edutainment characteristics. Yes, we all know how shot President Lincoln, but did you know that not everyone knew that back then? That some people didn’t hear what had happened, who who ultimately took that fatal shot, until a week after the event? I hope you fun and learn something by witnessing the aftermath of President Lincoln's assassination through a teenage Ohioan who finds herself nursing a Confederate prisoner.

Spontaneous, fifteen-year-old Gretchen vows to help heal the nation from the recently ended Civil War. On the morning of President Lincoln’s death, Gretchen finds an amnesiac Confederate in her garden and believes this is her chance for civic goodwill. But reconciliation is not as simple as Gretchen assumed. 
When her mother returns from the market with news that a Confederate murdered the president, Gretchen wonders if she caught the killer. Tensions between her aunt and mother rise as Gretchen nurses her Confederate prisoner, revealing secrets from their past that make Gretchen question everything she knows about loyalty, honor, and trust. 
The Last April is an entertaining, thoughtful novella of Ohio after the Civil War, meant to encourage readers to reflect on themes of fear and hope in uncertain political times.

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Colette is a busy mom of 2 kids focusing solely on being a mom. She hails from the Caribbean and now balances the full life of being a SAHM and dabbling in odd jobs to help around the home. She enjoys sharing her memories, hopes, food, travel, entertainment, and product experiences on her blog. Please read my disclosure 
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1 comment :

  1. I missed the book tour but I used to have a "Civil War Sunday" feature on my blog during the 150th anniversary of the war (2011-2015). I can't say I am a "buff" but I have been to Appomattox Court House, several battlefields (including two in Arkansas and one in Missouri), the Confederate White House in Richmond, VA, one of the Lincoln boyhood homes in Kentucky, and more. But I have not investigated Ohio at all (and I live in upstate New York, so shame on me.)


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