As I started to write about the American Revolution, I kept returning, over and over, to the same basic question:
How did this come to pass?
How did these colonies, comprising nearly the same population as Mother England, and only feeling loose allegiance amongst themselves, rise up and throw off the rule of the greatest imperial power around at the time?
More critically for my stories, what drove the individual colonists to make the essential shift from being loyal subjects of the Crown to being citizens of the new nation?
My characters have each answered this question in their own ways. Some, indeed, have not made the shift, and retain loyalty to England, even in the face of great personal risk and harm.
It is a fascinating question, and it strikes at the heart of what makes the American Revolution – indeed, the American experience – an exceptional one, even a unique one in history.
It is the question which, above all others, I’m constantly probing at as my characters’ stories unfold across the backdrop of the monumental events that have swallowed up their lives.
Come along with me as we try to find some answers?