Land of Tribute

Thank you for visiting the website for my book ‘Land of Tribute.’ Here I will share with you the love of an amateur historian for what proved to be a ‘Magical History Tour’ of early America. I will post both writings and articles of interest relevant to this book and the two preceding books of my trilogy, ‘Este, Oeste.’

A few words about me as a writer and my book:  After leaving Syracuse University Newhouse School of Communication to write my first book on flute music and food of various Native American peoples,  I failed utterly, and ended up cooking to pay the rent.  I ultimately became a chef in Arizona and later California, focusing on local and indigenous foods. Re-discovering my passion for writing after the turn of the century, and actually having some deep experiences to draw upon, I recently wrote ‘Land of Tribute’ in the genre of historical fiction. It has required a vast amount of research into the life and times of Pieter Caesar Alberti, both while in Europe and America in the early seventeenth century,  particularly Venice, Amsterdam, and early New York. It has involved a great deal of expense and effort to coax real life out of dusty archives, but it has been well worth it. For those of you who have read ‘Land of Tribute,’ and wish to read more, I am now editing my first two books on his early life, and hope to have them available next year. Stay tuned for the prequel to the first of these books. ‘Alberti Due,’ here online….

If Mark Twain’s adage is true of our present lives, that “Reality is stranger than fiction,” then I can bear witness to it being also true about the past. For the past has certainly come to life for me, and that is why I fixed my compass tight to the eleven-month odyssey logged by Alberti’s captain De Vries. I could never hope to invent a voyage like that.

Although I have never blogged, nor been on any social media, I will try my best. Ask anything you want about that time and I will send you what I have. My contributions will come, of course, from all that research which I, as an amateur, and the professionals I have paid have done. A great source is also the New Netherland Institute.  Personally, I will include the information and support I left out of my book and on what Hollywood calls the ‘cutting room floor.’ It was John Steinbeck who once spent years doing research in Mexico, even learning dialects of native tongues while writing the story of Emilio Zapata, and then the screenplay for the movie. And what got cut out of both his book and the movie proved to make a very interesting book in itself!—along the lines of what the commentator Paul Harvey used to call, the “rest of the story.”

I have been supportive of the Native Americans since high school, when my American History class was taught by a wonderful man named Richard Cherico, a pure-blood Native American. It was Scooter Smith, a classmate, who called history a collection of “his story, his story, and his story, just before playing a Pete Seegar song on stage one day. So this story of mine could be called Pieter Alberti’s story,  or even my story as well, and thus a ‘mystery,’ a mysterious tour for you through a most magical time and place.

So please contribute to my blog, and learn about things like: The Great Hurricane of 1635, the huge smallpox outbreak which displaced some Mohawks in that same year, and the first ship built in North America, its planks produced from the first wind-driven sawmill in all of America. I can also share with you the land plats which indicate where it was that certain residents of New Netherland lived at certain times, share with you who attended the baptisms of babies,  what staples came from the fields, vegetables from the gardens, what fish, fauna, and fruit were free for the hunting and picking…stuff like that.

My prequel begins at the height of the Ottoman threat to Christendom, when Spain and Venice united to defeat the Ottomans at Lepanto. It is set in the latter part of the sixteenth century, and precedes a plague in which one third of those living in Venice die. The Eighty-Years War in Europe has begun. The nascent Dutch Republic becomes an ally of the ancient Venetian Republic, both republics, although for different reasons, now set  firmly against the militant Hapsburg Spain and Austria.

Again, if you haven’t read ‘Land of Tribute,’ please buy it from me here and now, or from BookLocker, or read it on Nook or Kindle, or ask for it at your book store. It is distributed by Ingram Books.