Genre: Historical Fiction
Date of Publication: January, 2010
Tungee Cahill deposits gold in San Francisco bank and becomes target for assassination. Shanghaied and put on board a ship bound for Liverpool. The ship is rife with plots from mutiny to piracy. Tungee joins the skipper and they crush the mutiny. They round Cape Horn and make their way up East Coast of South America to St. Katherine’s Island. At St. Kat the scurrilous ship owner issues new orders, and sends the ship to West Africa for another slave run. In West Africa 350 Africans are herded on board. Back at sea a British and American warship give chase. The skipper elects to dodge into a heavy storm where winds and rain batter the ship, but they manage to survive. After the storm some slaves are allowed to stay on deck. Tungee observes the Africans doing various rituals and incantations. Is it voodoo or witchcraft? Nobody knows, and by the time they find out, it’s too late. A tribal king called Kumi had inspired scores of his people, to make the ultimate sacrifice for freedom. Tungee returns to San Francisco and begins his quest to reclaim his fortune. During his search Tungee meets the lovely Laura Du Beck and romance blossoms.
MFC Becalmed in Frigid Antarctic Waters
Sleet was changing to a freezing mist as a dreary dawn struggled to break through the heavy overcast. Ragged underbellies of the clouds were so low at times they touched the waters. Waters cluttered with brash ice ranging in size from a bobbing apple to that of a full grown pumpkin. Ominous thumping noises caused by frozen chunks hitting the sides of the hull were underscored by the steady beat of a crew working the bilge pump. Those were the sounds they heard above an almost still ship that lay as near to dead in the water without being so as you would ever see. Ocean currents gave more movement to the ship than did the jibs and spanker, the only sails that were set.
Captain Foster, Fritz Cheny, Hank Jensen, Gabe Toombs and Tungee all stood on the quarterdeck in the teeth chattering cold, their hands stuffed deep into their pockets. No one said anything. They waited, watched and listened. But for what, none of them was quite sure. Two nights had passed since they’d had a clear shot at the stars with their sextant. Navigation anywhere near the South Pole was a tricky business at best.
Tungee’s Gold is a remarkable historical fiction that cannot be replicated. The reason being is because Tom Barnes is an exceptional novelist with a one of the kind style. The book is historically accurate, and a pleasurable read. The intricate details makes this narrative a master piece with a twist at the end. Tungee Cahill is unique protagonist. The story’s time period starts during the California Gold Rush. Tungee finds his fortune but it is short lived. He stops off at a local restaurant before returning to his hotel. There Tungee finds out about a group called The Ducks. This group proves to be problematic for San Francisco. Tungee will later learn more about this group. During this Era, ships were short on men. They needed more men. Thus, this led to what happens next. In the restaurant, he become a victim of the San Francisco Shanghai tunnels. Tungee soon learns what it means to be a slave. You will be urged to read on about Tungee’s difficult experience. This book shows the ruthless side of slavery and exploitation. Another lesson from Tungee’s gold is how greed controls a person, and provokes them to harm others. I recommend this book for a mature audience, with a fascination of history and its implications.
I was born in Fort Myers, Florida and when I was five years old my family moved to Central Georgia, the land my great grandfather fought for in places like Gettysburg, Cold Harbor and Saylers Creek.
I grew up listening to Civil War stories and faithfully recorded them into my journal. I studied English literature at Middle Georgia College and drama at the Pasadena Playhouse.
My military service was spent in naval aviation where I became a member of an
elite group known as the Hurricane Hunters. Squadron 114 flew routine patrol flights out of Miami into the Caribbean and South Atlantic in search of Tropical Storms. Once a storm was located the path and growth was watched and charted. The information we gathered was then passed along the Weather Bureau and they issued storm-warning bulletins to all potential areas in the path of the storm.
After the Navy I went to New York and soon landed my first Off Broadway play, “A Good Place to Raise a Boy.” Then I did tours with Bert Lahr in “Harvey”, Vera Miles in “The Country Girl” and June Lockhart in “Forty Carats.”
When PBS decided to do the TV Series Georgia’s Heritage I was hired as host narrator and writer. My initial writing assignment was to research and write two episodes for the series The Battle of Atlanta and The Battle of Chickamauga. Once those shows were finished we picked up out cameras and trekked all over Georgia filming, writing stories about Georgia and interviewing local historians.
Chasing hurricanes with the Hurricane Hunters had its moments but the last two segments of Heritage took anxiety and fear to a whole new level. I was given 48 hours to write a documentary on the Okefenokee Swamp, faced off with an alligator and had my first brush with the legendary Doc Holliday.
That brush with the legend gave me the idea and following tons of research and writing a fact based fiction emerged and is titled Doc Holliday’s Road to Tombstone.
That effort was followed by a nonfiction story based on my navy experience and called The Hurricane Hunters and Lost in the Bermuda Triangle.
My third book is a novel based on the Nazi plunder of art during World War II, The Goring Collection.
A fourth novel is in the works relating to the winding down of the African slave trade in the 1850’s titled Tungee’s Gold.
I do a blog on a variety of subjects called Rock The Tower.
First, I want to thank Tom Barnes for doing the interview with me. Read the interview below and found how intriguing he is.
1. What is your writing process? Example. In a bar in Savannah, Georgia while shooting a segment of Georgia’s Heritage, I heard the legend of Ebo landing. It interested me so I went to St. Simons Island where the landing still exists. Talked to the local voodoo lady and got some of the local’s take on the legend. Interested with questions, then chose a year during the Creek Indian War, Central Georgia, Tungee, Davy, Mama Sueand Papa Cahill. The young brothers carry the story. From there I follow their lead as the story unfolds.
Later in the story when the slaves enter the picture I read a lot about the Ebo Tribe as well as West African tales and poetry.(with Doc Holliday I started with tuberculosis that plagued his family in the 1800’s.)
2. Who are your largest author influences? Mark Twain, Hemingway and John Steinbeck.
3. What is your favorite book? Many, but I guess Gone With The Wind.
6. What genre do you write? no genre. That would bore me to death just like when I read it.
7. What is your most recent book Tungee’s Gold about? A strong willed character meeting others like himself. King Kumi. ‘I am a prisoner now but I will never
become a slave.’
8. How do you come up with characters for Tungee’s Gold? After I got Tungee and Davy standing I followed them and what they did until Davy’s death. Then it was
9. What are your favorite characters in Tungee’s Gold and Why? Strong characters with integrity.
11. How many books do you read a year? A good number, many in research.
12. What is the last book you read? Elia Kazan’s bio.
13. What is the hardest part in writing Tungee’s Gold? Learning the operation of a Clipper Ship. I spent almost 3 months in the Library of Congress in Atlanta, learning about sails and sailing, same one Margaret Mitchell used for Gone With the Wind.
14. What did you enjoy about writing Tungee’s Gold? Being in the middle of the action and winning.
15. How long did it take for you to Tungee’s Gold? about 18 months.
16. Do you have any children or pets? If so, do they distract you, or assist you with writing?
17. Have you travel for your book, if so where? Traveled all around Georgia while shooting Heritage with that side trip to St. Simons Island.
18. Do you have a day job, you would be comfortable sharing? Do you have any good stories about your day job, you would like to share? Actor and writer. Lot’s of stories.
19. Do you have a muse? If you do, what do you love the most about him or her? No muse
21. What are your writing or publishing goals in the future? Working on my blog into a book which will include Researching a Legend. My Doc Holliday
22. How can fans reach you directly? http://tomhbarnes.com Publishers: Xlibris or IUniverse.