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David Beasley
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Interview with David Beasley,the author of Sarah’s Journey

 Tell us about yourself first. 
I was born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario. My father was a lawyer
and came from a line of lawyers and magistrates going back to the first  
settler in the region, a loyalist who came from
                                    Albany, N.Y. during  
                                    American Revolution. After graduating with a B.A from McMaster  
 University, I lived in Europe working, teaching, studying (in Paris)  
 and writing. In Vienna
                                    I met a lady who worked at the United Nations  
and eventually went to New York and married her.
                                    For many years I was  
a research
                                    librarian at the New York Public Research Libraries. After  
organizing the union for library workers, I became interested in  
political economics and obtained a PhD from the New School for Social  
Research. I maintained an interest in history which is why much of my  
non-fiction and fiction is history-oriented. In 1992 I retired to  
Simcoe, Ontario to write and publish.
When did you start writing? 
I began writing short stories in Santa Eulalia, on the Balearic Island of Ibiza in 1954. The following year,  I wrote my first novel in Bonasola,
                                    Italy—a portion of which was published as the novella
                                    "Caravetti" in Aspects of Love.
                                    genres have you written? 
I have
                                    written on modern art, political  economics, library methodology, travel, biography,
                                    detective novels, historical novels, contemporary novels, and a metaphysical novel.
Is Sarah’s Journey your first book?
It is about my 18th
Tell us about
                                    Sarah’s journey.  What is it about? 
Sarah Lewis was 
born  a slave in Virginia
                                    to her enslaved mother whose father was a white  
slave and whose mother was a black slave. Sarah's father was her  
owner, Colonel Brown. The novel shows the true nature of slavery,  
Sarah's attempt to win her freedom legally, and finally her escape  
 with three small children to Upper
                                    Canada in 1820, where slavery 
began to be abolished
                                    in 1793. Sarah  meets a young Scot and has a son by  
him. She becomes his housekeeper in the hamlet of Simcoe, near Lake  
Erie. Her relations with the white and black communities, the impact  
of the events in her life such as the Canadian Rebellions of 1837-38
                                     on the communities, and the lives of her children carry the story  
 forward to the success
                                    of her youngest son who becomes one of the  
richest men in New York City and the final tragedy.
 What inspired you to write this book?
 I came across testimonials about  Sarah and her family in a legal file
                                    in the local archives and I was  impressed by her courage and resourcefulness.
How long did it take you to write it?
 I started researching in 2000,  
                                    the book in 2003, published it in 2004.
                                    is the publisher of your book? 
Davus Publishing of Simcoe, Ontario  and Buffalo, N.Y.
 Where is it on sale?
 It is on sale at bookstores in Canada,
the Chapters chain.
                                    So far only independent bookstores in the States  
carry it. The novel is being considered for publication in Great  
 Tell us about your other books/work. 
Several books took
                                    years to research; for example I wrote about the first Canadian novelist, John  Richardson,
                                    one of the most colorful and talented men, about the  
 forgotten McKee Rankin and his roles as actor, manager, playwright,   director, and teacher of actors to forge the American theater of the latter
                                    half of the nineteenth century, about the invention of the  automobile in the
                                    1820s and its suppression by governments till the  1890s, about one of the great
                                    abstract artists of the twentieth   century and about a great museum curator
                                    and explicator of modern 
art.   My
                                    historical novel Chocolate for the Poor concerns a man on trial 
for   raping his daughter in Massachusetts
                                    in 1805. My detective novel the  
 Jenny uses the biggest
                                    theft of postage stamps in U.S. history
                                    as  subject. Through Paphlagonia with a Donkey is a journal of my trip  through the mountainous wilds by the Black Sea in Turkey.
                                    Beasley's Guide to Library Research shows researchers and students how to unlock  the
                                    secrets of big libraries (It was a best seller as How to Use a   Research
                                    Library when published by Oxford University Press). That  Other God is about a
                                    mystic poet, a bohemian painter, an Austrian  bureaucrat, and a Turkish dervish
                                    trying to bring humanity to the  realization of the god of humanity, rather than
                                    of the state and   religion. And so on.
What are the major challenges that you have faced in your
 Finding a big publisher who could promote my works.
Has the Internet helped you in your writing career? Recently it has 
 helped somewhat.
For instance,
                                    when researching for Sarah's Journey I was able to  
find material on the Hunters' Lodges—which would have taken longer to  
find in library sources.
                                    do you advise new writers to do?
 Keep writing regardless of  discouragement—that is if you really like doing it. Most of the great  works took many years to gain recognition—the famous example is 
Melville's Moby Dick which sold only about 300 copies in his life  time.

Thank you!

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