Tapping into the hot topic of immigrants, author Roger Higgins's timely book Billy Gogan, American follows the life of an orphaned Irish child who immigrated to America in 1844. "I chose this time period because it was really at the cusp of the modern era," says author Roger Higgins. "The biggest challenge was staying alive. It was putting food on the table, or in this case in Billy's mouth. It was having somewhere to live, some shelter" This riveting historical fiction is told in the first person, which lends an immediacy to the story that will reverberate with readers. It is the story of what all immigrants are in search of: a better life.
The novel opens as a memoir, with 85-year old William P. Gogan, now a retired general, dictating his story so that his adventures will be carried down. The year is 1844, on the eve of the Irish famine, and Billy Gogan's father has just died in an Irish prison under suspicious circumstances. Relatives send Billy to America, where he arrives at The Five Points, which is Ground Zero in the cultural collision of native Americans, escaped slaves and immigrants. It is also the epitome of the slums. Filled with an unruly mix of folks, the only goal is survival, and the harsh realities are overwhelming.
"The story goes into Billy's evolution in those early months in New York, as he begins to shed that Irishness and grow to be an American," says Higgins. "I think what drives Billy is this sense of wanting to have a place in the world. My goal was to write an adventure story, and at the same time give the reader a glimpse into a way of life that has been gone for over 150 years"
The result is a great history lesson full of fascinating characters and page-turning adventures.
His interactive website is a treat for both adults and children. Explore it to discover more of Billy Gogan's world, and to learn about American history. Don't miss the book trailer, narrated by a man with an Irish accent on the author's website: http://billygogan.com/
Billy Gogon, American, ISBN 978-16095211-58, 2016, Traveler's Tales/Solas House, 416 pages, softcover, $16.95, available on Amazon.
About Roger Higgins
Roger Higgins immigrated to American from England when he was 6 and ¾ years old. After wearing his British school uniform to class on the first day, he decided it was better to try to look more American. Higgins grew up and joined the Navy, then retired to become a lawyer. He dabbles in law, while writing books to his heart's content. The next book in the Billy Gogan series will be published later this year. He and his wife live in Chicago, IL and are the proud parents of four wonderful and successful grown children.
Media Contact: For a review copy of Billy Gogan, American or to arrange an interview with Roger Higgins, contact Scott Lorenz of Westwind Communications Book Marketing at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on twitter @abookpublicist