MAYFLOWER BOOK BIRTHDAY PARTY is on for Friday, October 16 at 6 p.m. Central.
Join us via ZOOM Book Birthday Party for a party to celebrate the arrival of Mayflower Chronicles: The Tale of Two Cultures, arriving in bookstores and on-line sources Columbus Day/Indigenous Day – MONDAY – October 16 at 6 p.m. Central Time.
The books are on their way to the warehouses to fill the pre-orders and ship for new ones. I got my review copies on Monday. After months of setbacks, delays, and challenges, I can finally say with confidence that the new Mayflower Book Birthday Party is a go for Friday, October 16 to celebrate the book’s official October 12 release date. Not quite by coincidence, this historical fiction about two cultures encountering one another will be officially published on Columbus Day, which is now also becoming known as Indigenous Peoples Day.
More Complete History
My goal in writing this story was to tell the classic Thanksgiving story through the lens of both cultures. We can acknowledge Christopher Columbus and his explorations, but we can and should also teach a more complete and accurate account of what happened in the early encounters between Europeans and Indigenous peoples. We aren’t asked to accept guilt for things our ancestors did or failed to do. However, it is morally responsible to acknowledge the abuses and oppression Columbus and others inflicted on Indigenous peoples. As one colleague of mine recently reminded us, “The people on this continent didn’t need discovering. What happened wasn’t a discovery; but rather an encounter between cultures. Here in Houston our City Council recently voted 14 to 2 to rename the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples Day.
We are currently embroiled a national conflicts about who tells the truth and who can be trusted to lead us into our future. We argue about how, when, and where to vote as much as who to vote for in the current cycle. We are in the midst of a cultural revolution. I wrote the book as historical fiction because I wanted people to talk with one another. Honest conversation are the remedy for many of the problems that plague us. The book is about real people and real events with realistic conversations, based on years of research and interviews. I wrote the book to capture the story of TWO cultures.
Two Stories in One Historic Event
One version of that fateful encounter paints an idyllic portrait of everyone making nice and getting along sans any conflicts. That is not what happened. Another version of the story portrays the English settlers as monsters who intentionally inflicted genocide on the docile Native peoples. That isn’t quite accurate either. As is often the case, the truth is squeezed in between two extremes.
The English and Pokanoket and other New England indigenous peoples were mutually suspicious of one another – and for good reason. There’d been plenty of bloodshed and trickery before the 1620 Mayflower voyage. Both cultures were reeling from catastrophic events, largely beyond their control. They were desperate people living through hard times, as we are in 2020. History does tend to repeat itself.
A question I’m frequently asked during interviews to promote the book is, “What do you want people to take away from the book.”
This is what I happens as people read the book:
- We’re not the first generation to know extreme hardships and challenges. Perhaps readers will come away encouraged as events beyond our control sort themselves out.
- Life goes better when people choose collaboration and cooperation as their coping skills of choice rather than conflict and war.
- The best way to resolve cultural wars is to get to know people from a variety of cultures as individuals, with names, needs and dreams. Lumping people into categories leads to dismissing whole swaths of fellow humans.
There is a certain historical irony in the timing of the launch of the Mayflower Book. The original release date was last spring. COVID-19 tossed that plan out the shuttered window as places closet to prevent the spread of the disease. The next date was September 6, the date the Mayflower left Plymouth, England. Another dating system sets the date as September 16).
Landing on Columbus/Indigenous People’s Day seemed like the perfect time to bring forth a new book that retells an old story. Once upon a time people from two vastly different cultures met, each skeptical and unsure of the other. They talked. They got acquainted. They decided to work together.
I am hopeful that perhaps Mayflower Chronicles: The Tale of Two Cultures can play a supporting role in striving for more just and equitable relationships between peoples of different cultures today.
Please join us for the Book Birth Bash October 16 at 6 p.m. Join us to meet the people behind the book, the ancestors of those who were there in 1620, and a chance to win a prize. You’ll also hear select readings from the audio version of the book.
I’m pleased to announce that copies of Mayflower Chronicles: The Tale or Two Cultures will be available at these places starting October 12th:
Bookshop.org (Supporting local Indie Bookshops)
Blue Willow on Memorial at Dairy Ashford https://www.bluewillowbookshop.com
Barnes & Noble in River Oaks at W. Gray