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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About The Author

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.