Sailor in the Civil War Project

Are you ready for the first novel in the Aila Rye genea-fiction series? I’ve got a whole series of novels planned, but for now, we’re just going to focus on the first one! If it sounds interesting to you, please go over to the Support My Genea-Fiction! page, and read the information on how to make a pledge.

What’s the story?

There are two timelines to this story:

  • The timeline in the past focuses on Karl Gaigala, a young Latvian sailor who is shipwrecked on the Alaskan coast and undertakes a long journey across the United States at the height of the US Civil War.
  • The timeline in the present focuses on Aila and her client, a descendant of Karl, as they learn about Karl’s story and discover that events that took place 150 years ago can still have dangerous consequences today.

This novel is a fast-paced mystery thriller that will travel across continents and encounter all sorts of people that still have a stake in the events of the US Civil War. History is not just in the past – it has real effects in the world today.

Why are you writing this story?

I have three goals with this novel and this series.

  • First off, I’ve been writing since I was old enough to hold a pencil. Fiction in my early days, but recent years have focused on my genealogy blog and non-fiction research help as a result. I’ve been wanting to return to my fiction-writing roots for a long time, and I’m extremely passionate about this project that I’ve been working on for over a year now. I can’t wait to share it!
  • Secondly, I want to dispel stereotypes about genealogists. There’s a stereotype that genealogists are all elderly people, and that genealogy is just about names and dates and looking at old papers. It’s not true! While genealogy is certainly a popular pastime for the elderly, growing numbers of young people, invigorated by the Internet, are also getting involved. It’s important that young people have some representation in genealogy media, and that they know there are people out there like them who are interested in genealogy and all of the mysteries that can be uncovered – not just names and dates, but family secrets, lost treasures, hidden cemeteries and more! I’m hoping that the interactive special features of this story will draw in young people and make them more involved.
  • And third, I want to make more people aware of my ancestral homeland, Latvia, and its people. Latvians are everywhere, and this novel series aims to show that! For a longer explanation, see Aila’s character bio (links on the left).

What are the “interactive special features”?

Ahh, now this is one of the most important parts of this project! I’m not just writing a novel – I’m creating an adventure.

If you’ve checked out “A President For His Country”, you’ll see that before the story was revealed, there were a number of codes and puzzles to solve, to have readers interact with the story, rather than just observing it. These puzzles are just a taste of what I have planned for this novel!

The special features that I have planned for this novel include…

  • puzzles and codes to solve
  • other games to play, be they Flash-based or mobile apps
  • short videos of scenes from the novel
  • audio of characters’ telephone conversations
  • special artwork that can be used as wallpapers for your computer desktop
  • … and maybe even more!

Stories are no longer static: There are so many possibilities to make them come to life that I want to integrate these as much as I can. Of course, you can just read the novel on its own, but I think the special features will really enhance it!

So, does this sound exciting? I think it does! Head on over to the Support My Genea-Fiction! page to make a pledge! Thank you for your support!