Al DeFilippo


About the Author
Al DeFilippo is a Writer’s Digest award-winning writer with a passion for writing the history of America’s founding generation, told through stories of individuals who exhibit a “fish-out-of-water” characteristic. He has always drawn to stories like the novel, Chesapeake by James Michener, movies like the Patriot and Silverado, and television series like Bonanza. However, he has never read or viewed a story where the American hero is a British citizen. At least until he met Francis Asbury.
The tone of the story which Al DeFilippo created about Francis Asbury, The Asbury Triptych Series, is like combining the television series, Bonanza, with the movie, Amazing Grace, truly a two-continent, 18th-century story where the hero wanders about, witnessing the transformation of a continent from thirteen fledgling colonies into a burgeoning nation. All this while never becoming a citizen of this new country called America. Francis Asbury's efforts contribute much to the enhancement of what is early America.
Al’s involvement with the story of Francis Asbury started in 1996, when he was approached by an associate pastor at the Methodist church he attended with his wife and children. The Reverend David Broadbent asked Al if he knew what a circuit-riding preacher was. Growing up Catholic, Al had no idea what David was talking about. What was a circuit rider and what did he do? When Reverend Broadbent told Al he reminded him of a circuit rider, it naturally piqued his interest.
Drawn to the friendship of Francis Asbury and Harry Hosier, Al knew he had to write a story of this unique pair—a young, inexperienced British pastor away from his homeland and an ex-slave—traveling the thirteen colonies during the Revolutionary War between the American colonies and the British Empire.
Al’s first attempt to write this “fish-out-of-water” story was in the form of thirty, four-minute radio episodes. Eventually, Al wrote several versions of a two-hour film screenplay, one of which received an award from Writer’s Digest. Al has also created a treatment of the story of Francis Asbury and Harry Hosier in the form of a twelve-hour television miniseries. In 1998, a national sports figure was interested in producing Al’s take on Francis Asbury and Harry Hosier as a weekly one-hour television drama. For more on the sports figure and the television series, see the author’s bio page on The Asbury Triptych Series website at
Al and his lovely wife of thirty years, Kim, live in southern Florida with their two daughters and a Wheaten Terrier named Riley Flynn. He enjoys the British television show, Top Gear. He also enjoys playing the drums and African percussion, when time permits.

Smashwords Interview

What motivated you to become an indie author?
My motivation for becoming an author is the result of what I interpreted as God's call on my life. In the midst of losing a large family business, I experienced a "new birth" if you will- leading me out of the familiar and prompting me to return to the former. As a child, I was fascinated with the concept of being a good writer. It happened one day sitting in an empty fourth-grade classroom, waiting for my fellow students to arrive. As I sat there alone, I was taken by a well-written paragraph on the chalkboard in front of me. Within minutes, the teacher walked into the room, said hello and immediately asked me what I thought of the writing on the blackboard. I nodded my approval and with a burst of enthusiasm she exclaimed, this is fantastic writing! From that point on, I wanted to be a writer. In reality, I had been a storyteller since I was a small child. My mother and father knew that story craft was one of my strengths. There is a story of when I was in my kindergarten classroom and I got the entire classroom to run to the room's doorway when I exclaimed that a school bus was coming down the main hallway of the school. There wasn't a school bus coming down the hallway, but my classmates believed the story and came running to view this possible event. Another "life-changing" event centered around "story" occurs in a fourth-grade production of the duel between American Founding Fathers, Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. I played the part of Burr; my close friend and classmate, Paul Santamaria, played the part of Hamilton. At the point where I shoot the cap gun pistol and Paul falls to the stage floor, the 100 or so students watching the production stood to their feet cheering. I actually had to pause for several minutes before I could give my next line. It was a moving scene for audience and actor alike.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
My greatest joy of writing is the fulfillment I get when placing myself into a historical character's setting. One of my personality profile strengths is context. I fascinate with the original intentions, the blueprints if you will. To me, what is extremely important is the why, why was this formed, why did this occur, why is it important, why is this story from history important to today? I guess in a way, I'm an extremely diligent four-year-old! It is the why which inspires me to write the what, when, where and how. Writing also supplies my excuse to snack on dark chocolate. But more on that later.
Read more of this interview.

Where to buy in print


The Asbury Triptych
The Asbury Triptych Series is a trilogy about Francis Asbury, the British circuit-riding preacher who is the George Washington of American Christianity. The three-book novel sets in 18th-century England and America. The opening book, Black Country, delivers what many of Francis Asbury’s biographers have left out for nearly two centuries, his first twenty-six years in the west Midlands of England and his first six years as a preacher traveling the English countryside. The second book, Beggar Bishop, brings to life the challenging trials and near-death experiences of the young preacher from the iron-working industry as he attempts to forge a church in an American wilderness embroiled in the Revolutionary War with his country of birth. In the climactic third book, Ordination, Francis Asbury continues to struggle with the colonial residents at war with England; he also wrestles with saving all he has labored for from destruction by a dissentious rebel. To Francis Asbury and others, his success or failure as an individual rides on the outcome of this conflict.
Black Country
Price: $13.99 USD.


Black Country
Series: The Asbury Triptych. Price: $13.99 USD. Words: 288,060. Language: English. Published: March 25, 2015 . Categories: Fiction » Historical » United Kingdom, Fiction » Christian » Historical
Black Country is the story of the early life in England of British preacher, Francis Asbury, the George Washington of American Christianity. The opening book of The Asbury Triptych Series sets in the rugged West-Midlands of England, the iron-working capital of 18th-century Great Britain. The story delivers a portion of Francis Asbury's life never written about before.