Author Interview: John M. Cahill / The Boschloper Saga



JMR-Welcome to the Books Delight, John. Tell our readers where you live, what you do for fun and what does the perfect day look like?

JMC- Thanks, Jeanie, it’s my pleasure to be here. An American expat, I live, with my wife, in Vienna, Austria. I’ve been here about 15 years, now, and still delight in wandering the streets of the city center and marveling at the architecture. For me, a perfect day is a hike in the Wienerwald (nature reserve on the outskirts of the city) following by an evening at a heuriger (restaurant in a vineyard serving traditional food and wine from the latest harvest.

JMR-What’s your favorite historical time period? Why?

JMC- Pre-revolutionary America. I was born and raised in western Massachusetts and so trips on the Mohawk Trail, visits to Plymouth and Salem, and stories about the Deerfield Massacre seized my imagination. I found that I was amazed by the bravery and resilience of the colonists.

JMR-Who is your favorite historical figure? Why? If you could ask them one question, what would it be?

JMC- My favorite historical figure is Cadwallader Colden, physician, natural scientist, a lieutenant governor and acting Governor of the Province of New York from 1760-1762, 1763-1764 and 1769-1771. He was also the first, official colonial representative to the Iroquois Confederacy. That experience resulted in his writing The History of the Five Indian Nations (published in 1727) which was the first primary reference for my work. I would ask him what it was like to be a friend of Benjamin Franklin, a fellow member of the American Philosophical Society, and what was his reaction when Franklin became a rebel.

JMR- How did you come to be a writer of historical fiction?

JMC- Growing up, I was fascinated by history. In fact, I thought that I would become a history teacher. But, fate led me in other directions until, upon retirement, I had the opportunity to write historical fiction.

JMR- Some of my ancestors lived in the Mohawk Valley of New York, it was fascinating melting pot of cultures. What is it that drew you to this area and made you want to write about it?

JMC- I lived and worked in Albany for almost 40 years and I couldn’t turn around without bumping into a reminder of its Dutch roots. Plus, my first wife’s Dutch ancestors came to New York in the 1640s and were among the first settlers of the area west of Schenectady. All of this made me want to learn more about these amazing people.

JMR- Did you travel for research for your books? If so, where did you feel the closest connection to them, somewhere you could picture them?

JMC- Other than driving about two hours, maximum, in any direction from Albany I really didn’t need to travel far. I felt the closest to my stories at the Cohoes (“wrecked canoe” in Mohawk) Falls on the Mohawk River near where it joins the Hudson River.

JMR- John, tell us about your books.

JMC- I have completed three volumes of The Boschloper Saga. “Boschloper” is Dutch for “runner in the woods” and refers to young men, hired by Dutch fur traders to wait in the woods outside of Albany for Iroquois coming to trade their furs and entice them (usually with rum) to trade only with their employers.

Primitive Passions, Book 1 of the Saga, tells the story of Sean O’Cathail, a young Irishman, who deserts from the English navy and finds his way to Albany where he becomes a fur trader. While trading, he also negotiated between the colonists and their Iroquois neighbors. This skill at diplomacy also helped with his love life, torn between courting an indentured servant in town, Laurentje, and a Mohawk woman, Kai, when in the wilderness.

Savage Wilderness, Book 2 of the Saga, follows Sean, now married to Laurentje, as he joins and expedition to divert furs from tribes along the Great Lakes from Montreal to Albany. But, when Sean and his confederates are surrounded by a force of French and their Indian allies and captured, Sean finds that his adventures are only just beginning. He will need all his wits and the help of Kai, his former lover, to survive his trials and return home.

The Trail of a Traitor, Book 3 of the Saga, tells of how Sean discovers that a longtime nemesis, Jeremy Cox, has turned traitor and joined the French and their allies in raiding the homes and hamlets of New York. Sean vows to bring Cox to justice but, before Sean can act, Cox kidnaps Sean’s closest and dearest friend, Megan O’Reilly. The quest becomes personal for Sean. Can he rescue Megan? Can he bring Cox to justice? To do so, he must follow the trail of a traitor.

JMR-What projects do you have in the pipeline?

JMC- I am currently working on Beyond the Frontier, the 4th and final book of the Saga. After that, I’m thinking of turning to WWI and the Irish rebellion.

JMR- Tell our readers how to find you on social media and the web.

JMC- Readers can find me on:

Facebook      Goodreads     My Homepage

JMR- What question were you hoping I’d ask but didn’t?

JMC- What is your favorite book? (Treasure Island) Or, who is your favorite historical novelist? (Bernard Cornwell)

JMR- Thank you, John, for stopping by The Book’s Delight. Good luck and best wishes for your book. Readers, I know you’ll want to see this book so I’ve included a link to Amazon below.


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