The Guerrilla Season Book Blog

Join 8th grade American History students at South Valley Jr High in Liberty, Missouri as they read Guerrilla Season by Pat Hughes. For more information contact Eric Langhorst at

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Week 4 - Ask Pat

We are coming to the end of the novel and I'm sure that you have some comments for the author. Go ahead and leave a comment - she is answering any question you have. We know you have a question so go ahead and ASK PAT!

Please answer this question by posting a comment to this blog entry by clicking on the "comments" link below this post. Please remember to use either your first name only or no name. Any comments with full names will not be posted. Thanks.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why did you have Matt take the choice he did at the end of the book


4:30 PM  
Anonymous Pat Hughes said...

Hi Pinky -

As I talked about in an earlier post, I don't tell my characters what to do, they tell me! I think the reasons for Matt's choice are pretty much as he laid them out to Jesse - he feels the need to stay with his family, not only because his pa would have wanted it, but because Matt himself wants it. I think he feels conflicted right up until the last moment ... and beyond the end of the book. I don't think Matt will ever feel totally comfortable with the choice he made.

Now you should go to the link below and post your opinion: Were YOU pleased with the choice Matt made?

- Pat

4:37 PM  
Anonymous Evan said...

Is it true that feds up north of Missouri don't act as wild and out of control like the ones who tortured Matt?

4:57 PM  
Anonymous Pat Hughes said...

Hi Evan -

Not sure I'm understanding your question. Are you asking me if I exaggerated things in the novel, maybe for the sake of drama?

If so, I assure you that I did not! My information comes from first-hand sources, people who were directly affected by such violence. (I'm going to get together a list of some of the books I used and ask Mr. L. to post it for those interested in further reading.)

Now, in "GS" I have taken care to show that all sides bear blame. Yes, the Feds tortured Matt and his family, and Jesse and his family, but dang! The guerrillas KILLED Mr. Stone and burned his barn AND house and left his widow homeless!

The thing to remember is that the national myths about the Civil War have been developed by the victors, so it kind of goes like this: North good, South bad, case closed. In my research I've found that even today in Missouri, people are very reluctant to say anything sympathetic toward the guerrillas and their families. I've been stunned by the number of Missourians I've spoken to casually who know absolutely nothing about the guerrilla conflict during the Civil War, and who believe Missouri was simply a Union state and that was all! I think the reason for this lack of knowledge is that the horrors of the guerrilla war run so deep, many of the stories that would have and should have been told -the family oral histories - were largely lost because nobody even wanted to talk about it. Especially if they identified with the losing side.

So, maybe you're reading something or hearing something from a source that's trying to tell you "oh, that author isn't telling the truth." I am. I did. It was horrifying, and it got even worse after "Guerrilla Season" was over in Sept 1863, when Order #11, which I only touched on, was carried out. How about people being beheaded and their heads put on spikes for all passersby to see? That was Missouri's Civil War, and these things were done by folks on both sides.

I urge you to go to my Web site and read the link on Harry Truman's family's role in the Civil War. Truman is one of my favorite presidents, and few people realize that he was from a Southern-sympathizing family. Truman told the story of his TEN YEAR OLD UNCLE being hanged by Union soldiers in much the same way Dr. Samuel had it done to him in "GS." Here's that link:

So, yes, indeed and emphatically, the Feds WERE really that bad. ... And so were the guerrillas.

And if after this long explanation it turns out I've misunderstood your question, please do pose it again!

- Pat

8:31 PM  
Anonymous swimmer said...

so do they never get to see there grand parents

7:46 AM  
Anonymous Missamerica said...

My favorite character in the book is Tyler. He is really funny. I am not that far in the book but where Susie, Jesse, Matt, and Ben all go to the creek together. I think that Susie and Matt are so cute, that fact that they like each other so much. I hope that they tell each other before the end because it would be a cute ending if they did. Pat I love your book and I think that it is really good. I can't wait until your other ones come out. I will definately read them.

10:56 AM  
Anonymous volleyballlover said...

Why did you decide to write this book and put the characters that you put in Guerrilla Season?

11:00 AM  
Anonymous Pat Hughes said...

Thanks for your comment, Missamerica! I'm glad you like the book.
- Pat

2:18 PM  
Anonymous Pat Hughes said...

swimmer -

Keep reading ... !

- Pat

2:22 PM  
Anonymous Pat Hughes said...

Volleyballover -

If you go down to the first week's questions, yours were answered way up top. Also, have a listen to the Week 3 Podcast below, which talks about why I am interested in Missouri's Civil War.

- Pat

2:28 PM  
Anonymous Swimmer said...

what ideas did you have for this book?

7:47 AM  
Blogger Eric Langhorst said...

Swimmer -

Mmmm ... I don't understand the question. Can you be more specific?

- Pat

12:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i would like to know if you are going to make different war books other than missouri?

12:41 PM  
Anonymous pat Hughes said...

anon -

I'm currently working on a novel that takes place mostly in Connecticut during the American Revolution. When that one is ready to be published, Mr. Langhorst will definitely hear about it from me!

- Pat

12:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you already know that Jesse James was in a guerrilla band, or did you find that out as you researched for this book?

-Pink Panther

5:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why are you so interested in war stories?


8:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the story is pretty good so far. I am not quite finished.

9:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What made you want to become a writer? Is Guerrilla Season your first book? If not, what are your other books?

10:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why did you end the book so abruptly?


12:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved your book, Guerrilla Season. Will there be more books with Matt after Guerrilla Season? If so, when will they be published?

8:06 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home