Interview with Max Terman

What are you working on next?
After writing Hiram's Hope I realized there is another book in this Civil War ancestor project--what are the details of the lives of the veterans after they survived the war and Andersonville? I am now researching the trials and testings of Civil War veterans and Andersonville survivors.
Who are your favorite authors?
I like to read novels by John Grisham and Michael and Jeff Shaara. I also like reading John Jakes. Presently, I am reading Race and Reunion by David Blight.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I live on 15 acres of restored prairie and in a passive solar earth sheltered home. Besides reading and writing, I like to work on my farm and I love to play golf. These plus my family and church are reasons for getting up every day.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
My hobbies are golf, camping, nature, and working on the farm.
What is your writing process?
I first do the research--extensive reading and note taking. Also, I visit the areas I want to write about. After doing a lot of thinking and looking for connections and inspiration, I construct a broad outline. While writing however, I find the story unfolds in ways I did not expect and words flow in that sometimes surprise me. I write and rewrite extensively looking for active voice and sentences that produce imagery in the minds of the reader.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
My interest in the Civil War came partly from reading The Red Badge of Courage. Stories by my father about our Civil War ancestors were also very important.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in north-central Ohio, right in the heart of Civil War history.
When did you first start writing?
In junior high and high school. I had good teachers that inspired me.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Hiram's Hope--his Civil pension files revealed a man struggling to reclaim his life and who reached out to his comrades.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I published two books with conventional publishers and thought the novels I wrote about my Civil War ancestor would best be cared for by me being more in control.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Finding the right word that sends chills down my spine. Making a sentence come alive with imagery and emotion.
You were trained as a scientist. What caused you to think you could write a novel?
My book Messages from an Owl published by Princeton University Press. I wrote it as a popularized account of some animal behavior research I did with my students. Readers told me that it read like a novel and that I should try to write a novel when I found a suitable topic. Enter my Civil War ancestor's experiences--what a story of survival! When I visited the battlefields, camps, and prisons where he walked, the words just flowed. Quite an experience reliving the Civil War.
Published 2014-08-22.
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Books by This Author

Hiram's Hope: The Return of Isaiah
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 80,900. Language: English. Published: August 22, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Historical » USA, Fiction » Inspirational
Following in the footsteps of Hiram’s Honor, one of Online College’s Best Books for Studying the Civil War, Hiram's Hope: The Return of Isaiah tells how Isaiah, left for dead at Andersonville, survives only to board the ill-fated, over-loaded steamer Sultana. Max Terman weaves a riveting story about this tragedy, the Lincoln Funeral Train, a woman left at Andersonville, and a veteran’s struggle.
Hiram's Honor: Reliving Private Terman's Civil War
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 131,240. Language: English. Published: March 31, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Historical » General
Written by an accomplished author and a direct descendant, Hiram's Honor is a riveting true story about a Civil War soldier captured at Gettysburg and sent to Belle Island and Andersonville. He miraculously survived 17 months! Written in the first person, this meticulously researched story is highly praised by the Civil War community and experts at Gettysburg, Manassas, and Andersonville.