Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Secrets from Caleb Pirtle III – a superb author of Fictionalized History!

***It’s an honor to introduce you to an author who has left me amazed and humbled. His book, Secrets of the Dead, is a masterpiece of Fictionalized History which lifted me from my easy, comfortable, modern life and plunged me into the terror-filled hearts and souls of the people in his story. It was gruesome and horrific because the events described were an abomination of human tragedy. If you’re a lover of history, this book is perfect for you. The characters will haunt you… Maybe that’s as it should be.



I don’t live in the past. But my mind wanders there quite often, and my imagination hardly ever wants to leave.

Why? I asked myself.

Maybe, it’s because I’m bored with the present, I told myself.

Life has its hardships still. Life has its conflicts still.

But life is too easy for fiction.


Need to go cross-country? Grab a plane.

Car broke down in the middle of the desert? Call AAA roadside assistance.

Scared on a lonely street in the middle of the night? Fish out a cell phone.

Someone following you? Call 9-1-1.

Where is the fear?

Where is the panic?

Where is the threat?’

Where is the suspense?

For me, it’s all buried somewhere in the dark and murky shadows of the past, which is why my last two published novels have been set during the early days of World War II, when villains wore the faces of evil, and we never forgot the way they looked or the travesties they committed, and we knew who our enemies were.


As I wrote in Secrets of the Dead:

          The German’s eyes were bright and beginning to dilate. A sudden rush of unbridled adrenaline had shot through his veins. His hands were trembling. He had killed from afar. He had hidden in trenches and behind hedgerows and shot down soldiers who had no names and no faces, only forms marching across an empty field.

          Now he must kill face to face.

          Now he must kill close enough to smell the garlic on the dying man’s breath.

          Now he must kill close enough to watch life depart from a man’s eyes.

          He hesitated.

          A man who hesitates always dies long before his appointed time.


It was a thriller that could not have been set during any other period of history.

For those under forty, it might well be regarded as historical fiction.

But for those of us who remember World War II, even as young children, the events, the memories, the fears are still as vivid as if they had happened yesterday. For us, it’s not history at all. It is a black and white snapshot of our lives, taken when the world was black and white with no gray lines to smear the two.


I can still remember our family gathered around the radio at night, listening to Edward R. Murrow reporting from the bombed out streets of London. Walter Winchell’s coming on each evening saying, Good Evening Mr. and Mrs. America and all ships at sea, and Gabriel Heatter signing on with, There’s good news tonight, no matter how bad the news might be.


I was asked a month or so ago whether or not I wrote historical fiction. I had never thought about it, but I don’t think I do. It is fiction about the past. The events are real, the places are real, the basic conflicts are real, and some of the major players are real.

But the story is a lie. The story is fiction.

It didn’t happen.

It could have.

But it didn’t.

“No,” I said, “I don’t write historical fiction. I write fictionalized history.”

“What’s the difference?” I was asked.

“Historical fiction is written to satisfy professors and historians,” I said. “I simply write novels about times, places, and characters that I would like to read.”

“But they’re in the past,” he said.

I smiled.

“They weren’t when I lived them,” I said.




***Read my 5-star review for Secrets of the dead here.

Caleb’s third novel of this series "An Ambrose Lincoln Novel" is called Night Side of Dark and he’s working on it now - to be released soon.
Visit his website: Venture Galleries
Follow him on Twitter @ventgalleries
Follow him on Facebook




  1. Caleb is a cool dude and a gift to fellow authors.

  2. Mimi, I had the privilege of narrating Caleb's book for the Audible version. I couldn't agree more with your assessment. Regards, Stephen Woodfin

  3. Mimi, I am flattered and honored to be featured on your blog. I sincerely appreciate your support as we used word salesmen go forth in a brave new world of digital and audible publishing.

  4. It's been my pleasure, Caleb! Hope you have a wonderful Christmas and all the very best in 2014!