My first book followed a long, arduous motor trip through Afghanistan, for which I could find very little background
material. So I wrote the introductory book that I had needed before the trip began. To my great delight The
Land and People of Afghanistan sold well and continously for four decades and went through three editions.
and I lived for long periods of time in Lebanon, Pakistan, Niger, Burundi, Sierra Leone, Malaysia, and Western Samoa. The
other four Portraits of the Nations followed: The Land and People of Malaysia, of Sierra Leone, of Liberia,
and of the Arabian Peninsula. For the Arabian Peninsula book, I actually spent a month traveling alone
across Saudi Arabia. Some of my favorite stories resulted from that trip.
I began writing fiction while we were
in Africa because the 1970s was not a good period for criticizing the corrupt governments of that continent. Bisha of
Burundi and Salah of Sierra Leone date from that period. I also fictionalized my more recent Indian book, When
the Great Canoes Came, because the only source material was written by Englishmen, and you must read between the
lines to figure out what they were doing to the local tribes. Lonesome Road, a contemporary young adult novel, builds
from the material I collected about today's Virginia Indians as I was writing their history.
Candace, a lighthouse historian, introduced me to the wonderful world of lighthouses. She does the research, and together
we have written and published five books: Women Who Kept the Lights, Twentieth Century Lights, Maine Lighthouses,
Mind the Light, Katie, and Lighthouses Short and Tall. Complete descriptions are found on the publisher's
I have been collecting material about my grandfather, who was a drummer boy during the Civil War. The Web had made
it possible to learn more about his four years in Indiana Volunteer Intantry regiments. My daughter Candace found extensive
documentation in the National Archives. I published his story in 2013, Drummer Boy of Company C: Coming of Age in the Civil War.
Many of my older books are out of print, but I find them listed on Amazon.com.