“The Romanian tour was fun,” Tower said of 2005’s two-week Footsteps Tour when he led readers in visits to the trails, paths and village stopovers experienced by the Fusgeyers of a century ago. “But the stage for Branko is far too global to do any kind of similar promotional tour for this novel. This time out, I’ll likely stay on my side of the pond.”
While overseas engagements are not on Tower’s itinerary, The Lighthouse Press is expecting a growing grassroots interest in the new novel.
In the ten years since the title character of Branko was introduced to the public, The Lighthouse Press has received numerous inquiries regarding a Wayfarers sequel. According to Lighthouse Press Publisher Ron Richard, many of those inquiries expressed interest in the very character that Tower was hard at work fleshing-out for a new novel.
“True to the spirit of that last novel, Branko is filled with long-forgotten European and American histories,” Richard said. “But this novel lifts the character Branko out of obscurity. The story is a bold compelling fiction right alongside the drama of reality.”
It was an arduous undertaking, the last three years of which involved an in-house editorial review at The Lighthouse Press. This was followed by a subsequent chapter-by-chapter polishing of the manuscript by the author.
“That novel required a Herculean effort,” said a Lighthouse Press staff editor. “Long before we even looked at the prose, we were fact-checking a mountain of historical details that heretofore, were mostly unknown to us.”
Even given all the production time, the publication was still rushed in order to get the novel out in a timely manner. As fate would have it the novel debuted in late September, amidst national and global events so similar to the historical novel that everyone involved was caught by surprise.
“The most ironic thing,” Richard noted, “was our seeing a veteran march on Washington while we were releasing Branko and its historically accurate account of a similar, but more devastating march known as the Bonus War. I have to say that the timing was almost eerie. As has been recently quoted of Mark Twain and certainly applies here, ‘History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme.’”
About the novel: Witnessing the brutal massacre that takes his family, six-year old Branko Horvitch survives and goes on to a childhood fraught with abusive relatives and unspeakable Tsarist orphanages. From this tragic beginning to the heights of American political power, Branko is interwoven with the tapestry of history from 1881 through 1948: He is the quintessential immigrant upon whom America depended in becoming a superpower. Global wars, changing societies, economic depressions and iconic figures of the past are part and parcel of this dramatic review of stories we have forgotten are a part of the world we know.
Extensive research aside, Branko is a gripping portrayal of a truly altruistic advocate in his finest hours, thriving in the shadow of the very future he helps to shape.
For more information, please visit the Publisher’s website at www.TheLighthousePress.com or the novel’s web page at www.TheLighthousePress.com/branko.htm.
Public Relations Liaison