National Hispanic Heritage Month 2010

Because my debut title MESSAGE TO LOVE is set during the Spanish-American War in 1898, I wanted to talk a bit about the exhaustive research that went into writing this book. And it ties in with National Hispanic Heritage month to recognize the diversity of our great country and honor those persons with an hispanic legacy.

A dream about a man on horse back racing through the night to deliver a message he had in a leather pouch tied around his chest started it all. The images from the dream stayed with me and compelled me to ask questions. This led me to reading a motivational pamphlet written in 1899 called “The Message To Garcia”  by Elbert Hubbard. Between the events in the pamphlet and the visions of my dream MESSAGE TO LOVE evolved.

“The Message To Garcia” tells about the events of a pre-war note sent by U.S. President William McKinley to Cuban forces commander General Calixto Garcia. MESSAGE TO LOVE is loosely based around the story of Lt. Andrew Rowan and how he delivered the secret message in the dead of night after hours of walking through the jungles of Cuba. The pieces of my dream and the pieces of “The Message To Garcia” fit together too well for me to ignore. MESSAGE TO LOVE was born.

I started with library research and collected everything my local libraries could find through interlibrary loan. I read travel books since at the time of writing, travel by U.S. citizens to Cuba was (and is) prohibited. Sure, for more money than I had at the time I could get into Cuba via Mexico or Canada, but it wasn’t in the cards. A trip to Canton, Ohio where President McKinley was born was very possible. The McKinley library in Canton is small but wonderfully supplied with primary resources that served my purposes well.

There are two pages of sources listed in the back of MESSAGE TO LOVE. Check them out!

Happy reading,



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