ILNews

Indianapolis lawyer wins national book prize

Dave Stafford
October 10, 2016
Keywords
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

An Indianapolis attorney has won a prestigious national book award for his debut novel “The Drum of Destiny,” a work of historical fiction for young readers set around the American Revolution.

Wilson Kehoe Winingham attorney Chris Stevenson was presented the 2016 Grateful American Book Prize on Oct. 6 at the Library of Congress in Washington. His tale of an orphaned 12-year-old patriot who escapes a house of loyalists to join the fight for the nation’s independence is written primarily for children in grades 4-7.

“It’s not every day you get a dinner in your honor at the Library of Congress,” Stevenson said Monday. “It’s pretty amazing to be selected.”

Founded by author and publisher David Bruce Smith and former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities Bruce Cole, the Grateful American Book Prize was established in 2015 to recognize outstanding works of historical fiction for young readers and to promote history education. The prize includes a $13,000 cash award in honor of the 13 original American colonies.

Stevenson said he was inspired to write the book by his five sons and because he felt there was little storytelling aimed at young readers about the time period around the nation’s founding. Years ago, he began telling his boys bedtime stories from the Revolutionary period about a boy named Gabriel Cooper, which became the inspiration for “The Drum of Destiny.”

“For me, it’s one of the most transformative periods of time not just for our nation but for the entire world,” Stevenson said. “These were relatively untrained soldiers who decided to stand up to the most powerful empire in the world. … It’s one of those things I wanted my kids and hopefully other kids to learn about the freedom that we have, and why did we want to do it.”  

An associate whose practice focuses on aviation and product liability litigation, Stevenson said he worked late at night on the book for about a year, but getting his first book published proved a daunting task. He hired an agent and said it took three or four years and many rejections before publisher Capstone Young Readers was sold on the project.

He said young readers can learn much from historical fiction that doesn’t always come through in fact-bound history textbooks. “It’s not only able to give you facts but also help you understand why things happened, how they happened and the personal stories behind the facts they’re reading about.”

While the book is targeted for readers primarily in grades 4-7, Stevenson said he also envisioned this as a book that adults also would read, either for themselves or to their children.

Stevenson said “The Drum of Destiny” is the opening salvo in a series of five novels that will trace the colonial-era adventures of young Gabriel as he grows during the quest for independence. He said the second volume in the series has been completed but a release date has not been set.
 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. Unlike the federal judge who refused to protect me, the Virginia State Bar gave me a hearing. After the hearing, the Virginia State Bar refused to discipline me. VSB said that attacking me with the court ADA coordinator had, " all the grace and charm of a drive-by shooting." One does wonder why the VSB was able to have a hearing and come to that conclusion, but the federal judge in Indiana slammed the door of the courthouse in my face.

  2. I agree. My husband has almost the exact same situation. Age states and all.

  3. Thanks Jim. We surprised ourselves with the first album, so we did a second one. We are releasing it 6/30/17 at the HiFi. The reviews so far are amazing! www.itsjustcraig.com Skope Mag: It’s Just Craig offers a warm intimacy with the tender folk of “Dark Corners”. Rather lovely in execution, It’s Just Craig opts for a full, rich sound. Quite ornate instrumentally, the songs unfurl with such grace and style. Everything about the album feels real and fully lived. By far the highlight of the album are the soft smooth reassuring vocals whose highly articulate lyrics have a dreamy quality to them. Stories emerge out of these small snapshots of reflective moments.... A wide variety of styles are utilized, with folk anchoring it but allowing for chamber pop, soundtrack work, and found electronics filtering their way into the mix. Without a word, It’s Just Craig sets the tone of the album with the warble of “Intro”. From there things get truly started with the hush of “Go”. Building up into a great structure, “Go” has a kindness to it. Organs glisten in the distance on the fragile textures of “Alone” whose light melody adds to the song’s gorgeousness. A wonderful bloom of color defines the spaciousness of “Captain”. Infectious grooves take hold on the otherworldly origins of “Goodnight” with precise drum work giving the song a jazzy feeling. Hazy to its very core is the tragedy of “Leaving Now”. By far the highlight of the album comes with the closing impassioned “Thirty-Nine” where many layers of sound work together possessing a poetic quality.

  4. Andrew, if what you report is true, then it certainly is newsworthy. If what you report is false, then it certainly is newsworthy. Any journalists reading along??? And that same Coordinator blew me up real good as well, even destroying evidence to get the ordered wetwork done. There is a story here, if any have the moxie to go for it. Search ADA here for just some of my experiences with the court's junk yard dog. https://www.scribd.com/document/299040062/Brown-ind-Bar-memo-Pet-cert Yep, drive by shootings. The lawyers of the Old Dominion got that right. Career executions lacking any real semblance of due process. It is the ISC way ... under the bad shepard's leadership ... and a compliant, silent, boot-licking fifth estate.

  5. Journalism may just be asleep. I pray this editorial is more than just a passing toss and turn. Indiana's old boy system of ruling over attorneys is cultish. Unmask them oh guardians of democracy.

ADVERTISEMENT