Francis Hamit lit up the scoreboard in his interview at Blogging the Muse:
TH: What is it about the Civil War period that draws you?
FH: Originally I was simply interested in telling Belle Boyd’s story, but there are a lot of layers in that era that haven’t been much used. Most writers of historical fiction take the safe route of writing fictitious characters in major events.
or Gettysburg Shiloh. There is so much more out there and all sorts of really fascinating people whose stories haven’t really been told. By using real people and real events I bought myself a big research job and I suspect that there are some who will disagree with my creative choices. The facts are pretty much the same. What people did and why is always open to interpretation. In researching Belle’s story I found the beginnings of the feminist movement, the incredible bravery of the operators of the Underground Railroad, some really unique and unusual popular culture, and the first war where changing technologies like the railroad and the telegraph affected the outcome. I write about soldiers and spies and the like. So this mega novel, of which there are at least four more parts, is a faux history of the Confederate Secret Service, for which few records and memoirs survive. Complicating that is the distortions of later male historians and moralists who denied or distorted what was done by the women like Belle. Even though this is fiction, I’m trying to set the record straight in some degree.