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Saturday, December 03, 2016
Peter Leavell

Peter Leavell

Peter Leavell graduated from Boise State with a degree in history in 2007. With his passion for historical fiction, nothing delights Leavell more than people turning the pages of a book, enraptured by the story. He is the winner of the Christian Writer’s Guild’s best first novel 2012 for Gideon’s Call. He lives in Boise, Idaho.
Peter Leavell: Freedom and Reality

Peter Leavell: Freedom and Reality

(December 2012)
Rel Mollet
Peter Leavell’s fascination with history and past cultures led him to set his debut novel in America’s most turbulent days when the Civil War was raging and 10,000 slaves were deserted on islands off the South Carolina coast by owners desperate to escape the Northern onslaught.

Based on true Civil War events, Gideon’s Call (Worthy Publishing) chronicles the journey of a slave boy named Tad, who comes of age and finds love while discovering a passion to care for his people.

Peter explains the inspiration behind Tad: “Tad stems from my own children, my daughter specifically. She has Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and doesn’t feel pain. She falls out of her chair, trees and swings just to feel something. Tad, due to his past, has similar qualities. I wanted to see what it would be like if someone in history, with no chance at therapy, suffered from the same condition.”

Extensive research was essential for authenticity, shares Peter. “Tad’s world was built slowly in my mind over time as I read book after book about slavery and researched diaries from the era. I read the diaries again and again, taking the experiences of slaves to heart. Freedom is such a precious commodity and so rare in history that I felt to some degree the yearning, dread and hopelessness slaves must have experienced.”

Reflected in the story is the reality that slaves were crucial to a plantation’s survival. They acted as blacksmiths, farmers, nannies, cooks and household managers for plantation owners who did little of the labor, essentially because they did not have the skill sets the slaves did.

“Hardships such as starvation and disease were a constant threat,” says Peter, “yet, somehow love in all its passion and beautiful ignorance still found a way and blossomed into long and happy relationships. Many stories are so compelling, so inspiring, I must find a way to tell them.” Tad’s story is one such tale.


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