ABOUT AND FACE THE UNKNOWN
As Levy clings to a tree high above a river and tries to catch his breath, he doesn’t know what to do next. He has been a slave for Mr. Willoughby since he was little boy, and now things are changing. Unsure of what year it is, Levy escapes the jaws of slavery on the cotton plantation. He is a runaway slave without a plan.
As soon as he sees a boat floating in the river, Levy knows what he must do. With Mr. Willoughby on his tail, Levy boards the boat and hides behind the big wheel. As he somehow eludes capture, he begins a journey with a colored captain at the helm who works for none other than Levy’s former owner. As the captain takes Levy under his wing and they travel down the river, Levy finally learns what it’s like to be a free man with choices and the ability to make decisions for himself. But danger lurks around every curve, and Levy soon finds that his journey to independence will not come without challenges.
In the second installment of this historical tale, a Lincoln-freed Colored risks everything in order to realize the sweet taste of liberty and justice for all.
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Question1- Why was writing your book so important to you?
I find a very myopic view of the American experience, after years of formal studies (PhD in English) and teaching at the university level. It is clear to me, that there is a desperate need to explore and understand a broader and more inclusive view of the American experience. Slavery is just a piece of that complex view. Yet its impact on the development of the American character and culture is little known or understand. It is as if slavery only happened to the Africans and their descendants. When, in fact, its impact greatly contributed to how we, Americans, see the world and ourselves.
My novel(s) offers an opportunity to explore a broader and more inclusive American by looking much closer into the influence slavery had and has on the American character and culture.
Literature is a vital tool for that exploration.
Question2- What was the writing/creative process like?
I don’t know if I can describe the writing/creative process. At various times it can involve any and every emotion humanly possible. I must say, however, that I know at the end of the day if I have had a good productive day. There is joy! But I also know that the next day I might consider that good productive day quiet a disappointment.
Question3- When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’m working at it! At this point, writing is what I do and feel I must do.
Question4- How much influence did you have in the cover of your book? Why did you choose it?
My wife designed the cover. I described to her what I thought it might be. After reading the script, she designed it to my satisfaction.
Question5- Can you describe a typical day for you?
My day typically starts around 3am. I’m at my computer until 6am. Back to bed until 8am or thereabouts. Work out on the treadmill 5 days a week for 35 minutes. Breakfast at about 9am and back to the computer until lunch, which can be about 1pm. I might work for an hour or two in the evening. Four or five hours a day is my typical day!
Question6- What do your family and friends think of your writing?
Generally they say they like what I do and think I should continue. I don’t ask critical question and they seldom offer!
CD would love to recommend the following books:
playing in the dark: whiteness and the literary imagination Toni Morrison
Freedom National: The Destruction of Slavery in the United States, 1861-1865 James Oakes
THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF DIXIE: The Civil War and The Social Revolution That Transformed the South Bruce Levine
The Empire Of Necessary: Slavery, Freedom, and Deception in the New World Greg Grandin
ABOUT CD HARPER
CD Harper is a retired professor and arts administrator who holds degrees from the University of Illinois and St. Louis University. His first novel, Covenant, began the story that now continues in And Face the Unknown, the second installment of an intended trilogy. He and his wife reside in Gleneden Beach, Oregon.