Meet Spooky History Author Colleen Adair Fliedner #interview

Spooky Topics

Please join me in welcoming historical author Colleen Adair Fleidner to the Reading Room today.

Hi Colleen. Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hello and thank you for inviting me to do an online interview. First of all, I live in Orange County, California with my husband, Rick, and two little Pomeranian dogs. My daughter and her husband moved in with us shortly before she gave birth to our grandson two years ago. So, the house is crazy busy and always noisy with a two-year-old running wild.

I’ve always been a dreamer, and I must say that I’ve been lucky to be able to live many of my dreams. My three passions are writing, history, and travel. The jobs I’ve had through the years have provided me with many opportunities to embrace all of these obsessions.

Why do you write historical fiction?

I’ve always loved history. Period! Many of the first historical novels and nonfiction books I read were set in Egypt. The first book I purchased with birthday money at the age of 12 was a huge history of Egypt. I also devoured James Michener’s novels and I especially enjoyed the historical novel, Hawaii. Naturally, I was a history major in college with a minor in anthropology and archaeology participating in digs in Irvine and in the Mojave Desert. I studied writing in the Writer’s Program at U.C.L.A., and screenwriting at USC and at the American Film Institute. I optioned a screenplay (historical, of course) about Fatty Arbuckle, as well as several paranormal scripts for the new Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock Presents television programs.

Stories in StoneTell us a little about researching Stories in Stone.

Stories in Stone: Miners and Madams, Merchants and Murderers contains 100 true stories of pioneers who lived and died in Park City, Utah. I began my research by using the dates of each individual’s birth and death found on their headstones to search newspapers for obituaries, death records at the Family History Center in Salt Lake City, census records, and on and on. It took me well over a year to do the research, much of which I did while staying in Utah. The rest I did online from my home in Southern California.

I’m honored to say that the Mormon Family History Museum in Salt Lake City has copies of my book for people to use as part of their families’ genealogy research. As a result of my work, the Park City Historical Society held an annual event in Glenwood Cemetery in which local residents dress as one of the people in my book and stand at the grave site to tell people their stories (which I had written). The money they charged the public for the event helped them renovate the deteriorating pioneer cemeteries, as well as supporting the historical museum in Park City. I’m very proud of the book, and it’s still selling!

Here’s a link to the book at Amazon.com.

During Spooky History, Colleen will be sharing some of her eerie experiences while researching in Park City and stories about the abundant number of ghostly apparitions that haunt the old buildings.

You can find Colleen online at:

Website: http://colleenfliedner.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Colleen-Adair-Fliedner-633173770537236
Blog: http://www.colleenfliedner.blogspot.com

And please join us for Spooky History on Monday, October 19, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. (PT) The Zoom meeting is sponsored by the Santa Clarita Library in their series of History Talks held monthly on various historical topics.

Click here to register: bit.ly/HTSpookyHistory

Hope to see you there.

Linda McLaughlin

Book Review Club: Black Klansman #review

I’ve done a lot of reading this summer, so had a hard time choosing a book for this month’s edition of Barrie Summy’s Book Review Club. I decided on:

Black Klansman coverBlack Klansman: Race, Hate, and the Undercover Investigation of a Lifetime
by Ron Stallworth

#1 New York Times Bestseller!

The extraordinary true story and basis for the Academy Award winning film BlacKKKlansman, written and directed by Spike Lee, produced by Jordan Peele, and starring John David Washington and Adam Driver.

 

My Review:

Ron Stallworth was the first black detective in the Colorado Springs Police Department. In 1978, he came across an ad in the local paper recruiting Klan members in the area. Ron wrote a letter expressing interest, but made a rookie mistake and used his own name. (He was expecting to get some general leaflets in the mail.) However, he had the presence of mind to use an undercover address and phone mail. To his surprise, he soon received a call.

When asked “do you want to join?” Ron asked the PD to start an undercover investigation into the Klan. First, they had to find a white undercover cop to play Ron for the in person meetings. They learn that Grand Wizard, David Duke himself, is planning a trip to Colorado Springs. Great story!

Blackk Klansman DVD coverThe story of how these officers infiltrated the Klan is fascinating. I really liked the book, so I went looking for the movie and found it on demand on my TV, thanks to HBO. The script for the film took a lot of liberties with the book to make it more dramatic, but it was good, too. At the end, Spike Lee ties the story to what has been happening recently, Charlottesville and the Black Lives Matter movement.

I think this is an important book, and I’m very glad I read it.

Linda McLaughlin

As always, click on the link below for more great reviews in Barrie Summy’s Book Review Club!

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@Barrie Summy