Friday, July 04, 2014

Forgotten Books: Sons of Liberty - Adam Rutledge

Can I tout one of my own books as a Forgotten Book? It's not as mercenary as it sounds, as I'll explain below.

But since this is the Fourth of July, I thought it might be appropriate to talk about PATRIOTS, a series of historical novels I wrote for Book Creations Inc. set during the days just before the Revolutionary War, under the pseudonym Adam Rutledge. SONS OF LIBERTY is the first book in that series, and as you might expect it concerns the founding of the group of the same name, as well as the Boston Tea Party. As usual with most of the books I did for BCI, PATRIOTS was also a family saga, as brothers Daniel and Quincy Reed and assorted friends and relatives deal with their own soap operatic problems along with all the historical incidents in which they take part. During the course of the series (six books in all), the plots feature the Battle of Bunker Hill, rescuing the cannon from Fort Ticonderoga, Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys, and everything else I could find in the research books to put in there. It was also an espionage series, as one of the main characters was part of the spy network set up by Benjamin Franklin. There were lots of dastardly villains, parties in Beacon Hill mansions, seductions, kidnappings, and battles, all of it culminating in the signing of the Declaration of Independence at the end of the final book, an event where I managed to get all my fictional characters together after having them scattered through various plotlines. It was great fun to write, and I hope to read.

It was also responsible for an incident that still makes me chuckle. I was waiting in line at a fast-food place one day when the books were still coming out, and a woman I'd never seen before came up to me and said in an exasperated tone, "Are Daniel and Roxanne EVER going to get back together?" Roxanne, you see, was Daniel's girlfriend and had been kidnapped by one of the villains, and in true soap opera fashion I managed to stretch out that storyline over several books. As it turns out, the woman was in the restaurant with a friend of hers who knew me, and she had pointed me out and explained to her friend that I was the guy who wrote that series of books she'd been reading. (Daniel and Roxanne finally did get back together, so you don't have to worry about that.)

I think PATRIOTS is a pretty entertaining series. I would have continued all the way through the war if Bantam had given BCI another contract, but that didn't come about. But at least it does come to a pretty satisfying ending, something that's not true of all my series. The six books are: SONS OF LIBERTY, REBEL GUNS, THE TURNCOAT, LIFE AND LIBERTY, CANNON'S CALL, and STARS AND STRIPES. All of them are long out of print, so if you want to read them you'll have to find used copies. (That's why I said posting about the series isn't as mercenary as it might seem.) If I had the rights to them I'd have had them available as e-books long before now, but BCI owns the series and seems to have no interest in bringing them back, so they're stuck in limbo like the other 50 or so books I wrote for them. But that's all right. I'd just like for them to find a few more readers.

And I hope it's a fine Fourth of July for all of you reading this, whether you celebrate the holiday or not.


Unknown said...

I remember this series well, and as I think I told you long ago, I think "Adam Rutledge" is a really great pen-name for the author of novels about the Revolution. I don't know if you came up with it or BCI did, but it's great either way.

James Reasoner said...

My editor on this series gave me a list of last names that were "colonial sounding" (I think she got them from the signers of the Declaration of Independence) and told me to pick one for the pseudonym. I'm pretty sure I came up with Adam to go with Rutledge.

Steve M said...

I have all of these in excellent condition. Never have got around to reading them but your post makes me want to go dig them out of storage. :)

Joe Kenney said...

I love that cover -- never knew they had hair gel back then!

James, I know it's easier said than done, but maybe you should just epublish them anyway. By all accounts BCI is now just Engel's son, and he apparently has no interest in the huge backlog of books. I doubt he would know or care if you epublished them, but of course I coyld be wrong

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Thanks for writing about your pseudonymous series that I didn't know about until now. I'll look for them in used bookshops which usually have a good stock of western novels.

Rick Robinson said...

I found a copy of this for a buck at Powell's.