Q-Come on now! Are you trying to tell us that The Life and Times of Liam O’Donnell covers the entire history of America’s involvement from WWI to WWII in a 600 to 700 page book?
Q- I gave it a try. Because today, the average reader’s attention span grows shorter by the day, I went for breadth rather than depth.
A- By creating Alex Wellborne, a fictional London Times correspondent, I placed him at most important events and engagements. It’s a story within a story. Previously, I used the analogy of a river with many tributaries. Wellborne is as one of my tributaries. With a nose for the latest news story, his editor dispatched Wellborne whether it be to Germany, Russia, Italy, Africa, or even the US. Wellborne aids Truman’s reelection to the Senate and ultimately to the Vice Presidency. The rest is history.
Q-How did you do that?
A- I set the stage by having Wellborne meet Truman in WWI. Knowing this, Churchill sent him to play the “Irish Card.” Wellborne convinces a young Irish politician to come out at the last minute for Truman, enabling him to win St Louis and capture the Missouri nomination for reelection to the Senate. (A true tale.)
Q- And you entwined this and other events into your story … Why?
A- My readers needed a method to race across the pages of history without overlooking major happenings.
I used a combination of letters to the O’Donnell family and newspaper articles. For example, in one of Wellborne’s articles, I condensed seven Churchill speeches, “Men of Valor,” “We shall fight on the beaches…,” etc. Enabling readers to get the gist of what had taken place in the war up until that point.
Q-Don’t you think this approach is rather shallow?
A- Not at all. As I said earlier, in today’s world of instant information our reader’s interest span is contracting. The Life and Times of Liam O’Donnell provides an attention-grabbing, quick-synopsis of one of the most import eras of our history. For many, The Life and Times of Liam O’Donnell will suffice. Hopefully others’ll dig deeper into the sections they’ve developed an interest. In my mind, it’s the best of both worlds.