Counter Currents, the 2013 silver medal winner for Historical Literature Fiction – Modern (set 1500-1940 AD) from by Dan Poynter’s Global Ebook Awards, is set in the Patriot War, an almost forgotten border conflict, where rebels attacked Canada 13 times from the USA. Among the raiders was Bill Johnston, the St. Lawrence River historical legend.
Ryan, 19, arrives in colonial Canada at the outbreak of the 1838 Patriot War. He is drawn into Bill Johnston’s world of smuggling and secret societies set in the beauty and grandeur of the Thousand Islands. Ryan falls for Johnston’s daughter, Kate, and is coached by her older cousin Ada on how to capture Kate’s heart. Ada develops feelings for Ryan and he in turn grapples with his attraction to Ada.
Circumstances drive Ryan into a web of piracy and rebellion. Each step Ryan takes closer to a peaceful life as Kate’s husband is matched by deeper entanglement in a glorious but lost cause. Tugged by the opposing currents of romance and war, Ryan struggles to reconcile his family history, his duty and his heart. The story builds on real events surrounding the Patriot War and stays close to historic facts. It is history illuminated by fiction.
Shaun, how did you come up with the title for your book? Does it have any special meaning?
The St. Lawrence River is a backdrop to most of the story. Currents in peoples’ lives are analogous to the persistent and unpredictable currents of a major river. Currents can run counter to one’s objectives, as they surely did for the protagonist Ryan.
Who was your favorite character and why?
Bill Johnston. He was a legendary historical character that I enjoyed bringing to life. He was such a notorious, yet honorable guy, that little of what I wrote about his exploits was fiction. Close second is Ada, a femme fatale based on a Bill’s niece.
Does your book have any underlying theme, message, or moral?
The theme is how leaders of glorious causes can derail the life of an idealistic and impressionable person. As Ada said to Ryan one fateful day, “You seem to latch onto men with strong personalities, men who lead you into trouble against your better judgment.”
What would/could a reader or reviewer say about this book that shows they “get” you as an author?
I hope that a reader would appreciate a glimpse of the Patriot War, an almost forgotten piece of North American history, and enjoy how the characters, both historical and fictional, shaped and were shaped by the events.
Give us an excerpted quote from your favorite review of this book:
Sharon Cathcart on Goodreads: “I enjoyed the book a great deal and would recommend it without hesitation to historical fiction fans.”
Where can people learn more about your writing?
My imprint blog at http://www.raidersandrebelspress.com/ includes information on my books and posts about indie publishing.