Thursday, January 19, 2012

Which Two Characters Do You Want to See Come Alive?

The Two Characters I’d Love To
See Come Alive

by Tom Mach

Tom will be giving away a $25 Amazon GC. Be sure to follow the tour here for more chances to win.

Being a novelist who has written three historical novels (Sissy!, All Parts Together, and Angels at Sunset), I love this question. There are many historical figures I’d like to see come alive, and choosing only two is difficult.  Well, let’s go with the first two who come to mind: Abraham Lincoln and Susan B. Anthony. I selected them because both were leaders in a great war…Mr. Lincoln in fighting for the freedom of black slaves and Ms. Anthony in fighting for the freedom on women who were treated very much like slaves in the 19th century.

When I began to research Lincoln, an iconic legend to most people, I discovered things about him that I never knew before. For instance, when Lincoln was a child in a farm near Hodgenville, Kentucky., he planted pumpkin seeds. Also, he had a rather high-pitched voice when he spoke, his clothes did not fit him properly, and he used the inside lining of his hat to put away notes he had taken.  I would enjoy seeing Abraham Lincoln come alive because there are all sorts of questions I’d like to ask him. I would like to know why he kept men who hated him in his  Cabinet, men like Stanton or Steward. I’d want to ask him if he was surprised that it took so long for African-Americans to secure equal rights.  I’d probably also inquire whether, at the time Mary Todd asked him to go to Ford’s Theater, he had a premonition that he shouldn’t.

Susan B. Anthony is a misunderstood woman. If you look at her photos you see a woman with a scowl who looks like she’s angry at the world. Even if she was, she had a right to be with the way men not only denied women the right to vote but other rights as well—such as the right to own property, the right to divorce a drunken husband who abused her, the right to speak in public, and many other rights. I would like to see her come alive so I could ask her if she’s ever been in love and whether she hoped to find a man who would agree with her beliefs. I’d ask her how it was that she never gave up hope of victory. I’d like to know from her how she felt about women today. Have we made enough progress or is there yet a long way to go?  As I wrote my novel, Angels at Sunset (expected to be out in early 2012), such questions kept coming to mind.

In fact, it would be interesting to see Abraham Lincoln have a face-to-face conversation with Susan B. Anthony. Would he apologize to her for not giving women more credit for their humanitarian services during the Civil War? And what would Susan say to him about women being denied the right to be in the military, fully armed and partaking side-by-side with men in battle?

Most of all, I picture both of them having a cup of tea and agreeing that they both won a war but that they wished they didn’t have had to resort to conflict.

# # #

Tom Mach wrote two successful historical novels, Sissy! and All Parts Together, both of which have won rave reviews and were listed among the 150 best Kansas books in 2011.Sissy! won the J. Donald Coffin Memorial Book Award while All Parts Together was a viable entrant for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize Award. He also wrote a collection of short stories entitled Stories To Enjoy which received positive reviews. Tom’s other novels include: An Innocent Murdered, Advent, and Homer the Roamer.

His poetry collection, The Uni Verse, won the Nelson Poetry Book Award. In addition to several awards for his poetry, Writer’s Digest awarded him ninth place in a field of 3,000 entrants. His website is: He also has a popular blog for writers of both prose and verse at

This unique collection of 16 short stories written by prize-winner Tom Mach includes stories such as "Real Characters," which is about a writer who gets his wish--that his characters come alive.... "Breakfast, Over Easy" makes you wonder about loyalty in the face of temptation.... "When Kansas Women Were Not Free" takes you to a time when women were less free than former males slaves.... "Son" make you think differently about compassion. One novelist describes STORIES TO ENJOY as "memorable and intriguing, with O. Henry twists that are sure to surprise and entertain."


Detective Pulaski agonized over the challenge. This one was tougher to solve than the other three. When she finished the upper portion of the puzzle, adrenaline again pumped through her body. She felt a pain in her chest as if she were about to have a heart attack. Aggie blinked twice as she stared at the answers to today’s puzzle:
“Agatha Pulaski,” she said aloud, her voice quivering. “Policewoman, Sib, Twelve.”
That’s crazy. My own brother wouldn’t rape and kill me, would he?

Tom will be giving away a $25 Amazon GC. Be sure to follow the tour here for more chances to win.


  1. Good choices. I would actually choose Queen Victoria & Winston Churchill. Two defining historical figures throughout the British Empire & the world.


  2. I really had to think about two historical figures I would like to see again. I think it would have to be Benjamin Franklin and George Washington.

  3. Interesting, thought provoking post today. I think it's a toss up between Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin or Benjamin Framklin and Thomas Edison.

  4. I would like to see Sigmund Freud and William Shakespeare. Thanks for the great interview.

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  6. I think Benjamin Franklin cause he sounds like he was an amusing raconteur and Marilyn Monroe to find out how she died.

  7. All of those historical figures would be great. I would have liked to interview any of these people when they were at the lowest point of their lives and learn how they turned things around. It would be a great lesson for all of us.

  8. I choose newton and Buddha. Great interview.

  9. This was a very interesting post to read.


  10. I like the idea of Susan B. Anthony and Abraham Lincoln sitting down to tea together, both advocates of freedom for a suppressed class of people.

    Good luck with the book!