A fictional trilogy making history live again
My GoodReads’ Star Rating: 4 stars out of 5, which means I really liked it!
Artuccino’s bookish observation
Holding these books in my hands was an experience that filled me with pride, a reward from the author following successful publication. The books looked great, inside and out, and they were a product of years of hard work by the master storyteller, J.A. Wells, and in a minor role, myself. And now, they are available at Amazon for readers to enjoy.
A little about the author and me
For those of you who have been following along with the publishing journey of the author, J.A. Wells and myself, you will know I greatly admire his storytelling talent, and you would know I have been closely associated with his work, assisting with proof reading along with a little mentoring. Together we created the book covers and I used my technical knowledge, and my reader’s sensibility, to produce the internal design, we then collaborated publishing The Durra Durra Trilogy via KDP, with sales available on Amazon.
Having the talent to write a good story, and the patience and dedication to spend a few years pulling it into shape takes a great deal of tenacity. In today’s world, it’s not easy to find a publisher who will provide a new author with the services needed to produce a book. No matter how good a storyteller may be, all written works require careful editing, both structurally and grammatically. Book covers need to be designed, and expertise is required to ensure the front and back matter are accurate, along with networking, promotion, production, and distribution.
Several years ago John shared with me the raw manuscript of his first duology, The Merry Millionaire. He intended to share the manuscript with a few friends and he asked for my opinion. After I read through the first few chapters, it was obvious that his book was good, really good, I called him filled with enthusiasm and encouraged him to publish. Happily, he did!. Then, a few years later he penned The Durra Durra Trilogy. My involvement in getting these books published was my gift to the author and was anchored in my admiration for his storytelling talent. I had so much “serious-fun” contributing my technical and administrative skills to the publishing process and my experience as a prolific reader and blogger.
A little about the three books
These three books are filled with adventure, injustice and triumph, grief and joy, ending with a satisfying resolution; a roller-coaster of a read, J.A. Wells’ style of writing creates a visual experience, brought to life by dialogue, well drawn characters, against a backdrop of historical fact. The story tells us of a journey embarked on by a cast of characters through an English landscape, social niceties, and a colony on the other side of the world.
Thurlow, Mutt Mutt Billy, and Durra Durra are set in regency England, and early colonial New South Wales, The three books delve into the lives of two men, inextricably linked by country, honour and loyalty.
James Baker Waldon is wrongly accused of a crime and convicted, subsequently torn from the ordered life he once knew, and the ones he loves, thrown into a world of torment, fear, and degradation. The other, Luke Reddall, taken from his mother as a new born baby, growing up unaware of his true identity and taken to the far side of the world where he becomes a young man of substance, integrity and manliness.
The story follows the exploits of these two men “as they discover meaning in a land as unforgiving as the parched earth beneath their feet. J.A.Wells entices us with the romance of new found love, saddens the heart with sudden losses, thrills the senses with depictions of a river in full flood, and the disastrous results of its aftermath. All the while ambitions are tested, during eventful voyages spanning vast oceans to brave new worlds. Then he appals, yet challenges us with his vivid descriptions of squalid prison life, both on land, and aboard convict ships, where friendships are made, and plots are hatched. J.A.Wells’ characters stem from actual people from out of his past, thus he succeeds in putting flesh on their bones, at the same time breathing love in the hearts of souls long since departed.”((Adapted from the Book Blurb on the back covers of the books.))
A little about the author
J.A. Wells (John) is a multi-talented man bursting with creative energy. I met him years ago when he was providing plein-air watercolour workshops via a community college; I was one of his students. During our workshops most of us became more confident with our drawing and watercolour skills through John’s enthusiastic encouragement, and while we went seriously about capturing the scene in front of us, John would regale us with stories, making the day full of delight.
Prior to arriving in Australia, John was a professional actor of stage and screen, performing in several musicals, and then he changed direction honing his artistic skills to have a great deal of success with creating murals and trompe L’oeil in houses, restaurants, swimming pools and in public spaces, first in the UK and then in Australia.
It was after a visit back to the UK to visit family and friends and timely discovery of some old photographs, along with a diary, in a long forgotten suitcase, J..A. Wells start writing and he hasn’t stopped. The stories have pored out of him, many being seeded by his ancestors’ history.
His readers will find that John is unusual in his choice of leading characters because sometimes they are gay. In times gone by authors of adventure stories and mysteries rarely recruited gay characters into their leading roles. John’s personal connection with the LGBTQI community and his knowledge of what it was like be gay in a time of persecution gives him the ability to write a mystery and adventure stories from a fresh point of view.
The Durra Durra Trilogy is J.A. Well’s second series, his first series was the The Merry Millionaire Duology and he is working on another series with a working title of Charlie Fuller’s Journey. The stories keep coming, and bring history alive again. ((Find out more about J.A.Wells and his work at his website.))
Genre – Fiction
Historical Fiction, LGBTQI