Book Trailer The Noble Train

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

The Ventilator of Publishing: A Mighty Blaze

The first thing you realized is that you are were all alone. The bookstores had closed. Your publisher had closed. The library had closed. Your agent was in shock. And you, you have a book coming out in the worst pandemic since the 1918 Spanish Flu. Now what? And you quickly realize that you will have to do everything your self. Publishing as you know it ceased to exist. When a book comes out you are dependent on a push from your publishers, libraries, bookstores, reviewers. That push is now non existent and it is down to you and your book.

So you are flailing. Enter A Mighty Blaze. This is essentially a Facebook site run by eighteen writers who volunteer their time to promote the new books coming out during the pandemic. It is a lifeline, but more than that at a time when publishing is on life support,  A Mighty Blaze is the ventilator of publishing. On the Tuesday of publication A Mighty Blaze blasts out posts and likes and tweets and retweets to let the world know that even in a pandemic books are still being published. Followed by bookstores, agents, publishers, the literati now  behind ZOOM screens; A Mighty Blaze gives a face to the author who has effectively been silenced by this pernicious virus.

Eventually the publishers will return, the bookstores will open, the libraries will begin again and hopefully A Mighty Blaze will still be here. But if it withers after the normalcy of publishing returns then we can only be thankful that in the worst of times we saw the best of some people who put the collective importance of publishing books first and gave of their time and their passion.

william hazelgrove


Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Pulling a 5000 Pound Cannon Across the Frozen Hudson River in 1775

They began slowly, hearing long groans punctuated by cracks in the ice. John Becker Sr. didn’t want to lose the oxen and kept his eyes on the thick corded rope that he would slash with the axe. He would have only seconds to separate the yoke of oxen from the heavy weight of a sinking cannon. The worst scenario was that the cannon would plunge through, cracks rippling outward, sending men, sleds, and animals under. The best case should the ice break was that they would lose only the cannon. Extra ropes had been tied around the neck of the cannon with an eye toward retrieval.

The wind blasted across the desolate river with the far pines frosted white. The oxen made their way, hooves clicking on the ice. Becker pulled back, calling out whoa! to the oxen, slowing them further. Knox had dismounted and guided his horse, staring ahead and then behind. The other men stood by their sleds on the near side of the river, watching to see if disaster would strike and their expedition would fall into the icy water below. Along with the Indians, the Tories, and the British, the ice was another foe that could obliterate the entire train.

Silent now in the middle of the frozen river. The creak of the ropes, the slide of shoes on thin snow. The grunt of heavy animals. Knox felt his heartbeat with every step. The far side of the Hudson drew closer and Knox turned, staring at the light grooves the sled left in the ice. Seven inches of ice must be beneath the oxen and the rails of the sled; other than a groan and an occasional heart-stopping rifle crack of shifting ice, the river seemed to be holding their weight. Knox felt the stiff wind pick at his scarf. His eyes watered. He led his horse off the ice and watched the oxen find their footing in the snow with the teamster following. Knox breathed out in relief. The worst had not happened.

Henry Knox's Noble Train

Friday, May 15, 2020

The Twenty Five Year Old Boston Bookseller who Saved the American Revolution

Henry Knox was a twenty five year old bookseller who dragged 60 tons of cannons or 120,000 pounds or 28 SUVs over frozen lakes, rivers, and mountains in 1775 and changed the course of the American Revolution. How did this happen? The Americans had surrounded Boston where the British were holed up after the battle of Bunker Hill. Classic siege. In comes a new general fresh off his plantation where he had been drinking bourbon hunting foxes and having a great time off his wife's fortune. He then comes to inherit the motley American army with no idea how to dislodge the British from Boston.

George Washington knows one thing and that is that he cannot get the British out of the city unless he has  artillery. Enter Henry Knox. A twenty five year old Boston bookseller with fabulous dreams but no real military experience at all. Washington takes him on and makes him a Colonel and puts him in charge of the artillery of which there is none. Knox set his eyes on Fort Ticonderoga 300 miles away were 59 cannons are lying dormant in the snow and with Washington's support decides to bring them back to Boston.

How he does this is the stuff of legend, 90 oxen and 42 sleds are his heavy trucks of the day. But mostly it is brute strength, grit, endurance and a belief in his Noble Train that sustains him over three months in the worst winter of the century. He finally gets the cannons to Washington who shells the British from Dorchester Heights and forcing them from the city. It is the first victory of the American Revolution and all because a Boston Bookseller believed he could do something everyone else thought was impossible. It is an American story.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

I Know...Lets Publish a Book During A Pandemic!!

SO...
The libraries are closed.
The librarians are home trying to figure out what a ZOOM is.
The publishers are closed...mine anyway.
The reviewers are home and wont touch advance copies.
The bookstores are closed or no one is in them.
This means:
No speeches
No signings.
No marketing support.
No buyers except online.
No money....the accountants are home.
No media...editors are home.
No television...everyone is figuring out how to not look more stupid than Friday night Zoom happy hours.
No radio...advance copies are on producers desks gathering dust.
No real buzz...the pandemic monopolizes all twitter facebook buzz.
No new deals...acquisitions are frozen.
Indie bookstores are not pushing titles.
Barnes Noble  is down to Zoom presentations with authors who look like they want to crawl under their bed.
More than all that...books are sold by word of mouth and no one is talking.
So...My book came out May 12, 2020. Henry Knox's Noble Train .
I am the like the last of the Mohicans staring into a hot dry desert with tumbleweeds, sand, a whistling wind that portents a gloomy thanksgiving.
What to do then?
What writers do every single day.
 Damn the torpedoes...
FULL SPEED AHEAD. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Release of THE NOBLE TRAIN!! Listen to the 101.7 FM Interview and the Boston Stories Interview

                             PUBLICATION RELEASE DAY FOR THE NOBLE TRAIN😊😊


Henry Knox commanded the Continental Army’s artillery, founded the academy that became West Point, and went on to become the first Secretary of War for the new United States.  Before any of that, though, he was a young man in Boston.  He was a Whig sympathizer who was in love with the daughter of a Tory, and he owned a bookstore frequented by both sides.  Young Henry Knox was catapulted to prominence after one nearly unbelievable feat: bringing 60 tons of heavy artillery 300 miles through the New England wilderness in the dead of winter, from Fort Ticonderoga in upstate New York to Cambridge.  William Hazelgrove joins us on the show this week to describe how Knox accomplished this nearly impossible task.  He’ll also tell us about his new book Henry Knox’s Noble Train: The Story of a Boston Bookseller’s Heroic Expedition That Saved the American Revolution, which comes out this week.

Listen to 101.7 FM interview of the incredible story of a twenty five year old Boston Booksellers expedition to bring 60 tons of cannons to George Washington in 1775. 
https://soundcloud.com/…/william-hazelgrove-henry-knoxs-nob…

Thursday, May 7, 2020

How Did a Boston Bookseller Drag 28 SUV's over Frozen Lakes, Rivers, and Mountains in 1775?

The answer is he didn't. He dragged 60 tons of cannons or 120,000 pounds or 28 SUVs over frozen lakes, rivers, and mountains in 1775 and changed the course of the American Revolution. How did this happen? The Americans had surrounded Boston where the British were holed up after the battle of Bunker Hill. Classic siege. In comes a new general fresh off his plantation where he had been drinking bourbon hunting foxes and having a great time off his wife's fortune. He then comes to inherit the motley American army with no idea how to dislodge the British from Boston.

George Washington knows one thing and that is that he cannot get the British out of the city unless he has  artillery. Enter Henry Knox. A twenty five year old Boston bookseller with fabulous dreams but no real military experience at all. Washington takes him on and makes him a Colonel and puts him in charge of the artillery of which there is none. Knox set his eyes on Fort Ticonderoga 300 miles away were 59 cannons are lying dormant in the snow and with Washington's support decides to bring them back to Boston.

How he does this is the stuff of legend, 90 oxen and 42 sleds are his heavy trucks of the day. But mostly it is brute strength, grit, endurance and a belief in his Noble Train that sustains him over three months in the worst winter of the century. He finally gets the cannons to Washington who shells the British from Dorchester Heights and forcing them from the city. It is the first victory of the American Revolution and all because a Boston Bookseller believed he could do something everyone else thought was impossible. It is an American story.

Henry Knox's Noble Train

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Publishing A Book During A Pandemic

Herny Knox's Noble Train  will be out May 12, 2020. It is my fifteenth book. I have published in almost every situation imaginable. I have published during wars (First Iraq War) during horrible downturns in the economy (2008 recession/depression/) I struggled for years to get my first novel published and was handed the proverbial 250 rejection letters before finally a small publisher took a chance. Since then I have had good advances, lived the literary dream, movie deals, bad deals, lawsuits, triumphs, crushing defeats, and comebacks.. I have had to start over many times in the last thirty years since graduating college and deciding to become a full time writer. But I have never, ever published a book during a once in a century Pandemic.

It is like publishing into a void. Its not that the normal promotion hustle until you drop of modern publishing is hard enough...this...this is like publishing a book in a ghost town. It's not that I have stopped working, I work at home of course, it's just everybody else has and so I might as well be yelling into the night. All the pop-sickle stands are closed. Everyone has gone home. My publisher has gone on a three week furlough. The libraries where I give one hundred paid speeches a year are all closed. The trades are all working from home (PW Booklist, Kirkus) and I have yet to see a review. Only my agent has stayed at her post and so we are like the last of the Mahicans, two warriors not sure what battle to fight.

What makes this different is that the great Ferris wheel of publishing which is vast has for the moment just stopped and everyone is just waiting. Think of a party where you are the last guest and you are walking among the empty champagne bottles and picked over food. My editor let me know the books were in the warehouse last week and I should be getting my advanced copies. This is a good thing. At least the book will come out. But the question is then what? Barnes and Nobles is for the most part closed. The independent bookstores are closed. Amazon is still chugging along but busy with getting the nation toilet paper and hand sanitizer.

So I have to say publishing a book during a Pandemic is different. Maybe this is how authors felt when the Nazis marched into France. A sort of...now what? But it's your job. And so in a way I am back to where I started with my first book when no one knew or cared who I was. So I have a book that has just been published. I have a book and I better get to work selling it any way I can. I have always thought the authors job is also to sell so I have begun doing lots of Zoom presentations. I have always done lots of social media but it was always in support of larger efforts. Now it is back to square one. A brick at a time. More Social media. More zooming. Zoom might just be the ventilator of publishing for authors until the mighty Ferris wheel starts again. Just keep it all going...at least until a vaccine or a therapy. 

Books by William Hazelgrove