I am pleased to bring you this interview with Rebecca M. Pritchard, author of Jeremiah Hacker: Journalist, Anarchist, Abolitionist.
1) What is your author name and in what state do you live (or country if not in the US)?
Rebecca M. Pritchard; I live in Maine.
2) What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre?
“Jeremiah Hacker: Journalist, Anarchist, Abolitionist” The genre is History & Biography.
3) What is the book about?
It’s about the life and times of journalist Jeremiah Hacker (1801-1895), who wrote and published a newspaper called The Pleasure Boat in Portland, Maine, which was very radical for its time.
4) Where did you come up with the idea?
I was doing historical research in the library one day, when I came across a copy of The Pleasure Boat. It’s captivating reading. Hacker had a unique way of looking at the world. The more I read, the more I thought, “Why hasn’t anybody written about this guy?” So I did.
5) How long did it take you to write it?
It started as a master’s thesis: that took about two years to research and write. Then I set it aside. Years later I reread my old thesis and said, “You know, I could really turn this into a book.” I found a publisher, who helped me revise it for publication. That took another year.
6) Did you learn anything from the project?
I learned so much from the project. Even though it was a very drawn-out process, I learned how to write a book from start to finish. I learned from my professors how to write a scholarly piece; and how to make it readable. I also learned a lot about hidden Maine history, Spiritualism and other religious movements, nineteenth-century newspapers, prison reform, dress reform, political movements such as the free land movement, early anarchism, and so many other things. All of that is contained in this deceivingly thin book.
7) Do you have an author website and/or blog?
I have a website: rebeccampritchardauthor.weebly.com. I also have a Facebook page. I’m not much of a blogger.
8) Do you have any success tips to pass on to fellow authors? How about any great editors/cover artists?
The editor I worked with is great! Alison Lewis at Frayed Edge Press.
9) What genres do you like to read? Are you open to reading new authors and reviewing their work?
I enjoy nonfiction, such as history, biography, and essay. I also love fiction and poetry. Anything that challenges me, makes me think. I recently discovered the novels of the late Richard Wagamese, and am blown away by them. He is an Ojibway author, beloved in Canada, but not as well-known south of the border, and I feel so lucky to have stumbled upon his work.
I am always open to reading and reviewing new authors, time permitting.
10) What is your favorite book of all time and why?
That’s a hard question. I have many favorite books; but I’ll go with Arctic Dreams by Barry Lopez. It’s a beautifully-written, thought-provoking book. It’s genre-busting, in that it doesn’t fit neatly into a category. Is it science? History? Philosophy? It’s really all of the above, and more. I read it as a young adult, and it taught me that nonfiction can be just as much food for the imagination as fiction.