Today AuthorHouse continues its discussion with Daniel Korn, the self-published author of Dawn’s Gray Steel and Tennessee Thunder. You can read the first part of our interview in the Author Blogs section.
Daniel, were there any authors or books that particularly influenced you?
Michael Shaara. I had read Killer Angels when it first came out. I was fascinated by it.
Please tell our readers about Dawn’s Gray Steel.
Dawn’s Gray Steel is about The Battle of Shiloh, and tells the story through the eyes of the commanders on both sides. It bounces back and forth, chapter by chapter, between the commanders’ stories as the battle unfolds. It particularly focuses on the Confederate commanders (Albert Sidney Johnston, Pierre Beauregard, and Nathan Bedford Forrest), and the Union commanders (Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman), and how each man sees and handles the events that are thrust upon him. Grant and Sherman will come out of this the greater, whilst Johnston and Beauregard will see their fortunes diminished considerably. It’s a very literal description of the battle as well, told in a storyteller style.
It really became a big deal when readers started asking me about a sequel. Then, Newt Gingrich gave it a five-star rating on Amazon, and well, you can guess how I felt about that. It’s also available at Barnes & Noble, and has been featured by Civil War Trust, in their bookstore.
What’s the main message you’d like to convey to readers through the book?
Two things: first, war is, quite literally, Hell on Earth. Nothing else compares. Second, no one knows how they will react to a situation until they must actually confront it. This battle demonstrated the true strength of character and bulldog-like capabilities of both Grant and Sherman, and the weaknesses in both Johnston’s and Beauregard’s own command capabilities. I think Johnston was very frustrated by the fact that the man he had almost literally kicked out of the peacetime army was now kicking his tail across western Tennessee.
We’ll continue our interview with Daniel Korn next week. His books are available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and the AuthorHouse Bookstore.