Posts Tagged ‘First Nations’

In researching and writing our historical adventure Into the Americas (A novel based on a true story) – a labor of love spanning 13 years – we first came across the centuries-old diary entries of young English seaman John Jewitt in early 2002. And we immediately became enamored with this intriguing slice of North American history.

However, it took untold drafts and careful study of the region – including consultation with the tribal peoples of the Pacific Northwest – before we finally felt confident we had developed the original bare bones historical account into the epic adventure novel it deserved to be in literary format.

As with writing any novel based on or inspired by a true story, we had a million agonizing decisions to make along the way. Decisions like what aspects of the historical events needed to be added to, fictionalized or given more layers, and what could be kept exactly as occurred but expanded upon or dramatized.

Even after all these years of focusing on the history we still feel John Jewitt’s story is one of the great true wilderness survival tales of all time.

Thankfully, readers seem to resonate with this novel and it continues to attract stellar reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

If you enjoyed Into the Americas, you may enjoy our other adventure novels White Spirit   (another novel based on a true story), The Dogon InitiativeWorld Odyssey and Fiji: A Novel.

-Lance & James Morcan 

 

Book: Into the Americas (A novel based on a true story) by James & Lance Morcan

Book’s Amazon review rating = 4.4 out of 5 stars after 187 reviews.

 

★★★★★ “Extremely well researched, the main character’s ‘coming of age’ is told with detached and stark brutality.” -Award-winning author Lee Murray.

 

Into the Americas (A novel based on a true story)  is available via Amazon as a paperback or Kindle ebook: http://www.amazon.com/Into-Americas-novel-based-story-ebook/dp/B00YJKM51E/

 

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In Australia’s wilderness, the Aborigines told escaped convict John Graham if you want to live follow the Songlines. So he did… and he lived.

 

White Spirit (A novel based on a true story) by [Morcan,James, Morcan, Lance]

White Spirit  is available as a Kindle ebook and paperback via Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01LWIRH9J/

(Book’s Amazon review rating after 90 customer reviews = 4.6 out of 5 stars)

 

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White Spirit  and Into the Americas, our two historical fiction novels that are both based on true-life, wilderness survival tales, remain firm favorites with our followers, currently enjoying an average 4.5 star rating with Amazon book reviewers.

 

White Spirit (A novel based on a true story)            Into the Americas (A novel based on a true story)

Two novels for lovers of true-life, wilderness survival tales.

 

To see what the critics are saying go to:

White Spirit: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01LWIRH9J/ 

Into the Americas: https://www.amazon.com/Into-Americas-novel-based-story-ebook/dp/B00YJKM51E/  

 

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Morcan Books & Films

One book reviewer described our historical adventure INTO THE AMERICAS (A novel based on a true story)  as being “like a motion picture in words.” Understandable given it’s set in the Pacific Northwest, which must surely be one of the most picturesque places on earth. 

Nootka Sound, Vancouver Island…where this true-life story is set.

 

Into the Americasis a tale of two vastly different cultures – indigenous North American and European civilization – colliding head on. It is also a Romeo and Juliet story set in the wilderness.

The storyline:

It’s 1802. Nineteen year-old English blacksmith John Jewitt is one of only two survivors after his crewmates clash with the fierce Mowachaht tribe in the Pacific Northwest.

John Jewitt…years later.

A life of slavery awaits John and his fellow survivor, a belligerent American sailmaker, in a village ruled by the iron fist of Maquina, the all-powerful chief…

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Bestselling INTO THE AMERICAS (A novel based on a true story)  is a tale of two vastly different cultures, indigenous North American and European civilization, colliding head on. It is also a Romeo and Juliet story set in the wilderness.

 

Into the Americas (A novel based on a true story) by [Morcan, Lance, Morcan, James]

 

Nineteen year-old English seaman John Jewitt is one of only two survivors after his crewmates clash with the fierce Mowachaht tribe in the Pacific Northwest. A life of slavery awaits John and his fellow survivor, a belligerent American sailmaker, in a village ruled by the iron fist of Maquina, the all-powerful chief. Desperate to taste freedom again, they make several doomed escape attempts over mountains and sea. Only their value to the tribe and John’s relationship with Maquina prevents their captors from killing them.

As the seasons pass, John ‘goes Indian’ after falling in love with Eu- stochee, a beautiful maiden. In the bloodshed that follows, John discovers another side to himself – a side he never knew existed and a side he detests.

The stakes rise when John learns Eu-stochee is pregnant. When a final opportunity to escape arises, he must choose between returning to civilization or staying with Eu-stochee and their newborn son.

INTO THE AMERICAS (A novel based on a true story) is available via Amazon as a paperback or Kindle ebook: http://www.amazon.com/Into-Americas-novel-based-story-ebook/dp/B00YJKM51E/

The novel was inspired by the diary entries of young English blacksmith John Jewitt during his time aboard the brigantine The Boston, and also during his sojourn at Nootka Sound, on North America’s western seaboard, from 1802 to 1805.

 

INTO THE AMERICAS has been adapted to a feature film screenplay and the planned movie is in early development with Morcan Motion Pictures. Expressions of interest are welcome from experienced film producers and directors.

 

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For some reason, the people of the Pacific Northwest considered rotten fish – salmon in particular – a delicacy, much preferring it to fresh fish. As a result, the odor of putrid fish filled the lodges at Nootka village, including the slaves’ quarters as it did on this occasion.

Toothie wandered over to the white slaves, holding two calabashes of food he’d prepared over the cooking fire. John Jewitt and Thompson accepted the offerings gratefully.

A quick inspection showed it consisted of fish grilled in seal oil. It looked appetizing enough, but the whites guessed the fish Toothie had used came from the small stockpile of putrid salmon the slaves kept in the lodge when supplies permitted.

So hungry were John and Thompson they crammed hand-fulls of the fish into their mouths as soon as it had cooled sufficiently.

It took all their self-control not to gag as they digested the putrid salmon, but they managed to keep it down. If nothing else, they found it was filling and would help them survive another day at least. They weren’t to know it was also very nutritious, and would sustain them until their next meal.

You have been reading an excerpt from INTO THE AMERICAS (A novel based on a true story) – available via Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Into-Americas-novel-based-story-ebook/dp/B00YJKM51E/

Into the Americas (A novel based on a true story) by [Morcan, Lance, Morcan, James]

Nineteen year-old blacksmith John Jewitt is one of only two survivors after his crewmates clash with the fierce Mowachaht tribe in the Pacific Northwest. A life of slavery awaits John and his fellow survivor, a belligerent American sailmaker, in a village ruled by the iron fist of Maquinna, the all-powerful chief. Desperate to taste freedom again, they make several doomed escape attempts over mountains and sea. Only their value to the tribe and John’s relationship with Maquinna prevents their captors from killing them.

 

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Sterling Gate Books has launched The Adventures of John Jewitt, the 19th Century public domain book that was the inspiration for Lance and James Morcan’s bestselling historical adventure novel Into the Americas.

 

THE ADVENTURES OF JOHN JEWITT: The true story that inspired Into the Americas (Illustrated) by [Jewitt, John Rodgers]

A book by Jewitt, about Jewitt.

 

Written by Jewitt himself, his story is a tale of two vastly different cultures – indigenous North American and European civilization – colliding head on; his adventures in the Pacific Northwest must surely rank as one of history’s greatest wilderness survival stories.

Sketch - Young John Jewitt

A young John Jewitt… Note the  forehead scar left by a Mowachaht warrior’s tomahawk. 

When the nineteen-year-old blacksmith boarded the brigantine The Boston in his home port of Hull, England, in 1802, he couldn’t have envisaged what awaited him upon arrival in Nootka Sound, Vancouver Island, off the west coast of the country now known as Canada. Jewitt was one of only two survivors when fierce Mowachaht warriors slaughtered twenty-five crew members aboard the brig. He and his fellow survivor had to endure more than two years as slaves of the First Nations people of Nootka.

Sketch - The Boston arrives at Nootka

The Boston arrives at Nootka Sound.

According to Jewitt’s diary entries, the Mowachahts’ slaughter of his crewmates was quite premeditated. Unfortunately, his description of the events leading up to the massacre doesn’t tell the full story, which is that the Mowachahts – like most or all the tribes of the Pacific Northwest – had put up with many, many years of abuse by successive Spanish, English and American traders. History shows that the abuse ranged from unfair trades to the frequent rape of indigenous women and all too often to murder.

There’s no denying the Mowachahts were savage. Jewitt himself writes of their savagery. However, he also refers to the kindness and generosity of his captors and their love of family, and we note the examples he gives far outweigh references to their savagery.

Thanks to Jewitt’s fondness for the written word and his diligence in maintaining his diary entries throughout his captivity, we have been left with an intriguing insight into his life, and into the lives of First Nations people. His account is made all the more extraordinary by virtue of the fact that such interaction between whites and the tribes of the Pacific Northwest was virtually unheard of and certainly never before (and seldom since) written about in such detail.

In his self-effacing way, a modest Jewitt explains how his work ethic, his friendly nature and his willingness to accept the native peoples as his equal endeared him to many of his captors. He even married a local maiden who bore him a son – though he makes little mention of this in his writings other than admitting his wife was very pleasing on the eye. (Georgian era attitudes perhaps dissuaded him from revealing more).

Such was his eye for detail, John Jewitt leaves the reader with a clear understanding of the Mowachahts’ customs, language, daily work habits, hygiene, trading, hunting, whaling and fishing techniques, diet and food preparation, potlatches, housing (they lived in lodges left by Spanish visitors), tree-felling and canoe-making, toolmaking and weapons, worship, feuds and settlement of intertribal disputes. How Jewitt eventually engineered his freedom makes for entertaining reading.

Sketch - Mowachaht war canoe

Mowachaht warriors paddle to war.

All this, and more, will become evident as you read The Adventures of John Jewitt (The true story that inspired Into the Americas). The book also has 10 original illustrations.

 

The Adventures of John Jewitt: The true story that inspired Into the Americas (Illustrated) is available now via Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07C36WL37

 

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