Monday, May 27, 2013

Meet Bob O'Connor, author of 'Return of Catesby'

Today we have an author interview with Bob O'Connor as part of his virtual book tour for The Return of Catesby with Walker Author Tours. Enjoy, and pick up your own copy at

Tell us about your book.
My book is the continuing story of Catesby – a real colored blacksmith who lived originally in Charlestown, VA as a slave to Colonel Lewis Washington, a descendant of George Washington. In the first book Catesby struggles to find his freedom. He runs away from the operation of a blacksmith shop under a cruel owner who permanently cripples him. He flees on the Underground Railroad to Pennsylvania.

This book follows Catesby’s new adventures leading up to his teaching position at Storer College, a new school to teach newly freed blacks to become teachers. Ironically, the students’ first day in the classroom was Catesby’s first day too, because he had been taught at home by his mother. Catesby’s vast experience is helpful in encouraging his students and helping them believe that if Catesby, a man with a bad leg who had been a slave could accomplish greatness, they could too.
Where can we find out more about you and buy your book?
On my website.
Where did you get the idea for the story?
It is a continuation of a previous book “Catesby: Eyewitness to the Civil War”
What do you find most rewarding in writing a book?
The feedback I get from my readers is what keeps me going. I have many who read every one of my books. I get notes from them wanting to know when the next one is coming out.
Tell us about your previous work.
I have published 9 books to date – 8 on the Civil War. Five are fiction. Four are non-fiction.
What other projects do you have coming up?
My next book is about a soldier who I consider the most significant man today from the Civil War – James E. Hanger. He is an unlikely candidate, as he only served his unit one say and was wounded. He has however, contributed greatly as he invented the modern prosthetic. There are 670 hospitals in the U.S. today with his name on them with 700,000 patients – Hanger Orthopedics.
Do you write full time? If so, tell us how you manage it.
Yes I write full time. I am retired from over thirty years in the tourism industry. Writing, research and promotion of my books comes easily to me.
What is your writing process like--do you outline first or just start writing, etc.?
My books all follow the chronology of what really happened. In that sense, the chronological outline is already provided by the actual history of the events themselves. But I am also confined by those actual events.
What have you done to develop your writing craft?
I have written all my life. Along the way I have had editors make suggestions and corrections. They have all helped my writing develop and improve.
What was the hardest part: writing the book, getting it published, or marketing it? Why?
Publishing is the easiest today – though I am sure in the past it was probably the hardest. I find the writing part and the marketing part challenging, but due to my background, I do not find either of them difficult for me personally.
Thank you for your time!

Author’s Bio:
Bob O’Connor has been a life-long student of the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln. He has published six books about the Civil War era and has given over 500 presentations about his subjects in the last six years.

Title of Book: The Return of Catesby
Publisher: Infinity Publishing
Length:  242 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

Brief Synopsis: 

The Return of Catesby is a sequel to Catesby: Eyewitness to the Civil War published in 2008. In this account, Catesby, a former slave, becomes the first colored teacher at Storer College in Harpers Ferry, WV. Storer was one of the first schools in the country to be established for the purpose of educating former slaves. Catesby, a real historical character, brings his experience as a blacksmith, a veteran of the Union Army, and his survival of the famed Andersonville Prison to his students. The historical fiction story is based on Catesbys journals, papers and letters.

Buy it on Amazon:

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