AUTHOR INTERVIEW: A.S. PETERSON + GIVEAWAY
I am so very excited to have had the pleasure of meeting A.S. Peterson (“Pete”) at the Hutchmoot Gathering last fall, and to be able to welcome him to my blog this month to talk about his spellbinding pair of books, The Fiddler’s Gun and The Fiddler’s Green.
I read these books when they were first brought to my attention by a good friend from YWAM and have since bought probably a dozen copies to give to friends and family who just had to come into Fin’s world with me!
Pete’s storytelling is stellar and his word-craft captivating. More than once, I had to stop reading and just hold the story close to my chest, letting the scenes soak into me. It’s a story based during the American Revolution about an unlikely hero named Fin Button, an orphan girl who faces formidable adversaries, both in the world around her and within her own heart. It is an adventure both romantic and exhilarating and I can’t wait for all of you to read it!
I love the books so much, I decided to do a Giveaway of the pair so you can join me in my enthusiasm
And now, without further ado, here is . . .
Q: Did you have a particular audience in mind when you wrote this story?
“I didn’t. I tend to write stories that I’d want to read myself. I began with a few ideas about a character and slowly fell in love with Fin and her story. I suppose you could say I wrote it for an audience of one, but I don’t think that’s necessarily accurate because writing is ultimately about communication—and, unconsciously perhaps, I was trying to communicate something about myself to whomever might be listening, and the conduit for that communication was a story that I needed and wanted to tell to my own soul.”
Q: The story takes place during the American Revolution. Is this a time in history that is of particular interest to you?
Not particularly. I think it’s a time period and setting that we haven’t had many stories set in, so it appealed to me to set mine in somewhat uncharted waters, but more importantly, the American Revolution functioned as a perfect thematic backdrop to Fin’s personal, spiritual, and emotional revolution.
Q: The central (and entirely captivating) character of Fiddler’s Gun and Green is a young orphan-girl named Fin Button. Was there someone or something that inspired you to centre this story around such a character?
She began as a mistake. One Christmas I decided to build treasure chests for my family and bury them in the woods. I drew maps for everyone and wrote short limericks on each map that provided the key to finding the location of the treasure. For the first map I decided that the chest would be buried in a grave, so I came up with a name that I thought sounded appropriately old-fashioned: Phineas Button. But when I built the cross to mark the grave, I carved the name into it and mistakenly left off the “s” in Phineas. So I adjusted my tack and wrote the rest of the limericks about a girl named Phinea and her beloved Peter Lamee. The character stuck with me until I started writing the book, after which she was greatly informed by teenagers I knew from work I was doing at a group home for at-risk youth.
Q: I read somewhere that you have experience as a sailor. Is that true and, if so, can you share a little about that experience?
Yes—and no. I served in the United States Marine Corps for six years and spent a year and a half of that time aboard a number of ships in the Pacific and Mediterranean. So yes, I spent a lot of time aboard ships, and that’s where I learned to speak the language of maritime life. But I didn’t do much in the way of actual sailing until after writing the books. My wife and I now own a small sailboat and we enjoy spending Sunday afternoons out on the lake here in Tennessee.
Q: Who was the most challenging character to write? And why?
I think the most challenging characters are those who don’t show up much. Characters like Topper, or Luther, or Lucas Thigham don’t get a lot of “screen time” so you have very little space in which to make them seem real. On the other hand, the characters that are the most fun are those you get to spend lots of time with. I really enjoyed trying to get inside the minds of Armand, and Fin’s father. Those sorts of characters are challenging but in a very different and fun way.
Q: What is your favourite scene in the story?
I can’t narrow it down to one, so here’s a couple. I love the scene in which Fin plays the fiddle for the men in the hospital. That scene marks an enormous transition in Fin’s life and I cry a little every time I come across it. Another is the scene in which Jeannot confronts the Knights of Malta and entreats for help in the rescue. That scene always felt a bit Tolkien-ish to me and I’m delighted with how it turned out. Armand’s final scene is another favorite, as is the battle between the Knights and the Barbary Pirates. Sorry, that’s way more than you asked for
Q: You have a lot of avid fans. Any hint as to when we might expect to have more of your story-writing in our eager grasp?
I’ve got a few things in the works, but I’ve found that I”m so busy lately that it’s hard to find time for something so daunting as a novel. So in the meantime, I’m writing a short story every month(ish). There are two available so far (The Timely Arrival of Barnabas Bead, and The Oracle of Philadelphia) and it’s been really fun to revisit Fin’s world and even say hello again to some familiar characters. I’m hoping that these stories will lay the groundwork for a new novel that I want to write, but only time will tell. The stories are available on Kindle, the iBookstore, and in the Rabbit Room store.
Thanks again so much, Pete, for taking the time to answer these questions, and for giving us some more insight into this story and the characters within it. I’m looking forward to reading your short stories too—hopefully they will appease the need for another full novel . . . for now!
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A. S. “Pete” Peterson served on a number of naval vessels while in the U.S. Marine Corps, none of them pirate ships. He is the author of two books, The Fiddler’s Gun and Fiddler’s Green, and he currently lives and works in Nashville, Tennessee where he is a founding member of The Rabbit Room (RabbitRoom.com), a community of artists, writers, and musicians engaged in an ongoing conversation about the importance of Story.
REVOLUTION. SECRETS. AN UNFORGETTABLE ADVENTURE.
America is on the brink of war with England, and Fin Button is about to come undone. She’s had it with the dull life of the orphanage, and she’s ready to marry Peter and get away from rules, chores, and a life looked after by the ever-watchful Sister Hilde. But an unexpected friendship forms between Fin and the fiddle-playing cook, Bartimaeus, which sets her on a course for revolution.
With Bart’s beloved fiddle and haunting blunderbuss as her only possessions, Fin discovers her first taste of freedom as a sailor aboard the Rattlesnake. She’s hiding some dark secrets, but there are bigger problems for the crew—they are on the run from the Royal Navy, and whispers of mutiny are turning the captain into a tyrant.
When Fin finally returns home, will she find Peter still waiting, or will she find that she’s lost everything she once held dear?
A SECRET MISSION. A FARAWAY SEA. A LONG-AWAITED HOMECOMING.
From the backwaters of Georgia to the taverns of Philadelphia, Fin Button is the talk of the colonies. The British say she’s a pirate. The Americans call her a mutineer. The crew of the Rattlesnake call her the most unlikely thing of all: Captain.
But with the Revolution on the verge of defeat, the Congress offers Fin a deal. If she can free a noblewoman held captive by pirates, the French may be persuaded to join the war. Fin’s reward? A full pardon. Along with Jack, Topper, and the mysterious Armand Defain, Fin sails the Rattlesnake to the Mediterranean Sea, half a world away. Their destination is Tripoli—home of the savage corsairs and slavers of the Barbary Coast.
To win the prize, Fin will need the help of an ancient seafaring order, the Knights of Malta—and the resolve of one faithful knight could alter more than just the outcome of the Revolution. It could mend the heart of a lonely girl and give rise to an American legend.
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