By Ben Beagle
Aug. 13, 2007
Howard Frank Mosher ‘s book tour is doing more than promoting his novel, On Kingdom Mountain . He is also using it to building interest in his next book, the Civil War-era Walking to Gatlinburg .
The current tour is laying the groundwork for his next tour with book sellers and building interest among potential audiences, Mosher said.
“The effect is not seen overnight,” he said, “but each time you see a little more in the sales column.”
Walking to Gatlinburg is expected to be released in 18 to 24 months.
“I have high hopes for the novel,” Mosher said, pointing to the approaching sesquicentennial of the Civil War in 2011. “If this book comes out a year or two before, there could be an interesting tie in because it’s a very dark and quite different book than On Kingdom Mountain, Northern Borders or Waiting for Teddy Williams .”
The author says it is the “highest action” story he’s written, and an epic.
Still, regular Mosher readers will recognize some characters.
Walking to Gatlinburg focuses on Morgan Kinneson, Miss Jane Kinneson’s father. It is the story of Morgan’s trip from Vermont to the Civil War ravaged South. But while his trip may be for one reason, he has a darker purpose: track down and eliminate six psychopaths who have been killing conductors of the Underground Railroad, including his parents.
“As he tracks the killers, he starts to go insane, and cut himself off from the moral world,” Mosher said. Morgan also sees apparitions of his older brother, Pilgrim.
Readers familiar with Mosher ‘s work will recognize his economical turns of phrase and the “mystical realism” that pervades his work. It is the influence of Latin America authors, particularly Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Mosher was reading Marquez’ One Hundred Years of Solitude while writing his debut novel Disappearances , published in 1977.
“I’d sit up all night reading Marquez, then sit at my desk the next morning and write,” Mosher said. “I was terribly influenced by it.”