Over the last few years, I’ve found myself in several situations where someone’s asked me a question about The Fiddler’s Gun or Fiddler’s Green and I legitimately couldn’t remember the story well enough to answer. If that sounds ridiculous to you, you’re not wrong—it sounds even more ridiculous to me.
But it’s true.
Each time that’s happened, I’ve had the nagging thought that I should re-read the books sometime just so I know what they are about if someone asks. But that’s also a terrifying thought. I’m well aware that I’ve grown as a writer since that first novel, and the thought of going back and witnessing that reality first-hand sounds humbling. I mean, it’s in print now. It’s too late to change it. What if I hate it?
Then I realized that 2019 is the 10-year anniversary of the publication of The Fiddler’s Gun, and I thought I ought to celebrate that somehow. My brother has been bugging me for a long time to publish an omnibus edition, putting both books into one volume with fresh artwork. I like that idea, but if I’m being pragmatic, I wonder how many people would really buy a book that’s over 600 pages long. Some would, sure. But enough to make it worth the time and expense? I remain suspicious of this idea. And besides, if I ever do decide to re-issue these books, I’m bound and determined that they be heavily illustrated, and that’s going to be a lot of work for some poor artist. So not yet, I say. Maybe some other anniversary. But for this 10th, I did have an idea. I needed to read those books again after all.
Tap-tap. Microphone? Check. Books? Check. Reading voice? Doing my best. Recording studio? My closet works, right? You heard me. I’m recording all of this in my closet. Laugh it up—it works.
But why a podcast instead of an audiobook?
Good question. People have been asking for an audiobook for years. My wife would probably tell you that I’m oppositionally defiant and therefore will always do the opposite of whatever I’m asked. That’s not true (at all), but in this case, I just thought a podcast sounded like more fun.
Part of the reason for reading the books is to re-evaluate them with fresh eyes, and that’s not something for which an audiobook provides an avenue. But a podcast gives me the leeway to record other material, like backstory that got cut but remains compelling, or to provide reflections on the hows and the whys of the writing process itself in the form of bonus episodes. That’s the kind of thing I can get really excited about. So a podcast it is (though once complete, I’m sure I’ll compile it all for the audiobook market).
And so here we are. This is going to be fun. In fact, it already is. I asked Tyler Rydosz, a local musician, to compose the music (which makes me cry almost every time I listen to it), and I asked Stephen Crotts to create some new artwork (which is completely awesome). The rest is up to me. I’ll be spending a lot of time in the closet in the next few weeks, and I’ll be brushing up on my French accents (gulp!). Pray for me.
An introductory episode and the prologue, “The Beginning,” are available now. “Part I: Foundations” (season 1) will go live, appropriately, on July the Fourth, Independence Day, and Parts II-V will follow in August, September, October, and November with over 70 episodes all told. Click here to view the podcast page, subscribe wherever you get your podcasts, and enjoy the ride.
Welcome to Fin’s Revolution. An American legend, one chapter at a time.
Pete Peterson is the author of the Revolutionary War adventure The Fiddler’s Gun and its sequel Fiddler’s Green. Among the many strange things he’s been in life are the following: U.S Marine air traffic controller, television editor, art teacher and boatwright at the Florida Sheriffs Boys Ranch, and progenitor of the mysterious Budge-Nuzzard. He lives in Nashville with his wife, Jennifer, where he's the Executive Director of the Rabbit Room and Managing Editor of Rabbit Room Press.