SMITHSONIAN Magazine has picked the 20 most intriguing small towns in America. Here’s my interactive map of what it would take to discover America of 2013 by car driving to all those towns (and fly to Hawaii and Alaska). CHECK IT OUT!
Want to discover America of a century ago? Read my novel NATE AND KELLY and follow that fascinating road trip of 1915. NATE AND KELLY is an amazing and powerful love story set in historical facts (and accurate maps).
Click here to get the paperback or Kindle version of NATE AND KELLY.
Posted: March 25, 2013 in political science, western, world war i
Tags: 1914 ford, 1915, american telephone and telegraph, baltimore, bigotry, birth of a nation, california, civics & citizenship d.w. griffith, discrimination & race relations, earthquake, fiction, historical, industrial revolution, kkk, ku klux klan, lincoln highway, long distance telephone, maryland, negro, new york, panama pacific international exposition, san francisco, Smithsonian, SMITHSONIAN Magazine, Travel, western, world war i
Posted: November 9, 2012 in Review
“Best Historical Book I’ve Read”
Marsha Clark, August 28, 2012
Let me start off by saying I usually don’t like reading history books. I will say that this was one of the best history books that I’ve read, even though it was non-fictional. This book kept me interested all the way through, and that’s saying a lot for me since I’m not much of a reader. This book tells detail of the events that happened. It was a well-written book and I would recommend it to anyone.
Michael, you have a lot of talent as a writer. Keep up the good work.
Posted: September 27, 2012 in 1915, american, bigotry, civics & citizenship, discrimination & race relations, historical, Jim Crow, negro, race relations, racism
This is a bit of historical background for my novel NATE AND KELLY, which is set in 1915 and deals with love, terror, hope and bigotry. The historical facts of American society in 1915 are mirrored by American society in 2012.
William Edward Burghardt “W.E.B.” DuBois was an educated and intelligent black man who is acknowledged as the father of Social Science because of his exhaustive endeavor published as “The Philadelphia Negro” at the beginning of the past century.
He was certain that the race problem was one of ignorance.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: September 21, 2012 in Review
4.0 out of 5 stars
Masterful weaving of history into a story, September 17, 2012
Michael has done a first-rate job of weaving history into the story that was thoroughly enjoyable and included historical photos that piqued our interest.
Posted: June 19, 2012 in Review
5.0 out of 5 stars
Reader’s journey as the many provocative scenarios and revelations unfold, June 19, 2012
By PAMELA ANN DRAKE WILSON (Santa Monica, CA)
I compare Michael as an author to the infamous icon, Jack Nicholson, in this regard. The term “Jackesque” is derived from the undeniable fact that one cannot take the “Jack” out of his acting role no matter how well he portrays a character (an let’s admit; nobody does it better). His essence and enchanting peculiarity cannot be removed from his character presentation. Michael’s writing comes out the same way!
As I journey through “Nate and Kelly”, which is in part a very worthwhile history lesson, I am bemused. Barnard is not removed from his writing as many writers are. His passions, opinions, and political posture that define him as an unusually fine human being come right through the pages and jump out at you.
Although telling a story that takes place in a different time, long ago, Barnard’s essence is ever present throughout the reader’s journey as the many provocative scenarios and revelations unfold.
All in all, “Nate and Kelly” is not only a read worth devouring, it could readily be adapted into a screenplay. But wait…Barnard is already doing just that. I am anxious to nestle into the life of his well defined characters in other works he has written or will write. Barnard, with “Nate and Kelly” is a pro at showing how life experience can change people and how hatred can make one take a stand against the haters and how love can open one’s eyes to a whole new world of being. Producers looking for an excuse to make a film should seek out this talent!
Posted: June 6, 2012 in Review
5.0 out of 5 stars
History Written As Though It Were Happening Now, June 6, 2012
By Grady Harp (Los Angeles, CA ) (AMAZON HALL OF FAME REVIEWER) (VINE VOICE) (TOP 50 REVIEWER)
Michael R. Barnard’s credentials as a writer of screenplays, a director and a producer serve him very well indeed in this hypnotizing story NATE AND KELLY. Reading this astutely investigated and documented novel that combines historical data with a created love story seems to have several foci in mind: Barnard wants us to be in the moment of critical times in US and world history to make us feel the impact on the populace the way very few other history books have and that is the reason for keeping the narrative in the present voice in stead of a reflective past voice much the way a script for a film being made functions; he wants us to be able to relate to the effects of these traumas of our history by placing characters with whom we can relate as our narrators (again, like a director’s guidance in making a film); and he appears to want the reader to keenly understand that the parallels of the actions of those people that made the events of history happen are almost synchronous with the demagogues and wild men and events of today.
Without a lengthy introduction Barnard establishes that characters who will unravel this epic for us and then plunges us into the turn of the century events that changed the world forever – from the great fires in cities to the earthquake that devastated San Francisco to the opening of the Panama Canal to World War I and all that accompanied these twists and turns in our history. The characters that surround our main character Nate are so closely related tot he politicians and world leaders of today that treading Nate’s fate and progress feels strangely relevant and thus terrifying. And in the midst of al f this historical reenactment he settles us in for a bizarre love story whose permutations growing out of the events as they transpire between Nate and Kelly offer up what is destined to make a very fine film!
Michael R. Barnard may be presenting us with a first novel in NATE AND KELLY but he writes with such polished quality that his career as a novelist seems rather assured. One minor criticism: the inclusion of photographs taken during the historic events cited, wile interesting in and of themselves, seem like extraneous and (for this reader) interfering need for validation of the written word when the writing of the events is so pictorial that the photos seem redundant. I suppose that too is a compliment!
Posted: June 6, 2012 in Review
4.0 out of 5 stars
Back to the past, June 6, 2012
By wogan “the book reader” (AMAZON TOP 50 REVIEWER)
`Nate and Kelly’ is a small historical novel – at times it is filled with more history than novel; but historical novels, if handled in an accurate way can be a great source of education, especially for those who have an aversion to history. The style is simplistic and written for the most part in present tense.
Nate travels to San Francisco to become the manager of the International Exposition in San Francisco shortly after the great earthquake. This was a turning point for the American west with the opening of the Panama Canal and the beginnings of WWI in Europe – huge changes were in the works for everyone.
The minutia of historical details are inserted everywhere – from the new motoring cars, to the transporting of the Liberty Bell and the price of admission, although it would have been an added value if the general salary level would have been included in places – a nickel doesn’t seem like much now, but it was then.
Even though, at times the history overpowers the plot, sometimes 9 pages pass without a mention of Nate; but there are historical illustrations, a real plus.
Nate is accused of embezzlement, an irony since he has rejected his father who was accused and convicted of a similar crime and his father claims he was innocent too – yet Nate cannot see this. He does meet his match in Kelly, a prostitute, who also gives the reader an idea of the limited ways for a woman to make a living.
In total this is a small simplistic novel, but one that is worthwhile as an instructive tool and as a story to read.
I was asked to review this book and given a copy for examination. The opinion and details written here, are mine alone and were not dictated or ordered. If I didn’t like the book, I would say so.