Interview with Kent O'Kelly

Question: What led you to write an historical novel based on actual events?
Answer: I’ve long had a fascination with the early days of North America, both before the arrival of the Europeans and with the explorers/frontiersmen, Indians, traders, military, politicians, land developers, and settlers. Interactions among these disparate people defined the expansion westward across the continent.
Question: What was your writing process?
Answer: I had no set process. I used some of the events and the timeline of the Stephen Long expedition journal, but made no formal outline, no storyboards, had no preconceived finish or theme for the book. I just wrote it as it came to me.
Question: What were the primary sources of information for your historical novel?
Answer: Besides my life-long reading about North American history, I used two primary sources: first, as I said above, the actual journal of the Stephen Long expedition, and second, the internet, an absolute treasure of information that wasn’t available to authors only a few decades ago. Many of the events in my book actually happened during the Long expedition. I added characters and narrative to these. I made up other events…but they could have happened.
Question: Will there be another historical novel?
Answer: Almost certainly. The Santa Fe trail, though extensively documented in both fact and fiction, presents a fascinating thought for me.
Published 2015-01-21.
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Books by This Author

First Up the River, 1819
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 90,420. Language: English. Published: January 22, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Historical » Western & American frontier
Jake Murphy joins the 1819 Stephen Long expedition up the Missouri, headed to the Yellowstone River with the first steamboat to ascend the river, the Western Engineer. Settlers are fast moving up the Missouri…threatening the lands of the Indians along and near the river. How do the Indians react? Does the expedition reach the Yellowstone? And, what happens on the way?