GIVEAWAY & Interview: Ponce - What Actually Happened at the Fountain of Youth
Aʙᴏᴜᴛ ᴛʜᴇ Bᴏᴏᴋ
Category: Adult Fiction 18+, 164 pages
Genre: Satire / Historical Fiction
Publisher: Gail Force Publishing
Release Date: November 2021
Content Rating: G - Mentions of violence, but nothing specific. No language.
Aʙᴏᴜᴛ ᴛʜᴇ Aᴜᴛʜᴏʀ
Jim Halverson grew up in the rural, gold-mining town of Mokelumne Hill, CA and received his MBA from Golden Gate University. He spent part of his life on a ranch and is an avid student of psychology. He recognizes the struggles of all men and women seeking equality and respect. Jim and his wife, Gail, spend their time traveling from their small farm in Forestville, CA.
What prompted you to write about Ponce de Leon?
Grammar school history regarding Ponce de Leon concentrated solely on the folly of a search for the Fountain of Youth. As a child I always regarded that endeavor as ridiculous. The idea that a grown man with regal connections could be that gullible was fascinating.
Since then, I have spent considerable time studying logical fallacies and debunking equally ridiculous conspiracy theories. I greatly fear that many of the conspiracy theory followers would have fallen for the illusive Fountain of Youth as well.
Did you do additional research for Ponce?
Yes. I learned that Ponce de Leon fought the Moors in Grenada and that he accompanied Columbus on his second expedition to the New World. I did not even know that he had grown up and was educated in the Spanish Court. These facts led me to use some literary license to create this satirical look at Ponce de Leon’s life and times.
What do you know of the Native Americans who Ponce de Leon encountered?
Not enough. Any resemblance to a historic tribe described is purely coincidental. However, the Apalachee tribe seems to have lived in the area roughly described. Apparently that tribe continued to flourish after their encounter with Ponce until the conquests of Hernando De Soto when European diseases decimated them. Some members of the tribe may have integrated with the Creek Confederacy. Some descendants may also still exist in the Louisiana parishes of Rapides and Natchitoches.
Do you believe the Native Americans portrayed in Ponce lived a carefree life?
No. A carefree life is not possible. What kind of life would that be? Natural disasters, particularly weather, are inevitable. What would we be if we couldn’t care for someone, attempt to expand our knowledge, and preserve peace and tranquility?
What prompted your character, Juarez, to attempt a realistic and peaceful solution?
Obviously, Juarez came to Florida as a warrior with one goal – to acquire gold. Watching his soldiers smelling flowers and going barefoot on the beach had an impact. Horses were important to Juarez. When he recognized good horsemanship by the natives, he was impressed. The natural beauty that surrounded him made an impression. His ability to communicate with the woman who rode his horse was important. Most importantly, Juarez turned when he reconciled the innocence of his youth on a Spanish beach with the innocence of the Native Americans’ lifestyle.
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