John Jakes | Conversations with SC Writers


John Jakes is a well-known author of historical fiction. He is also a research fellow in the Department of History at the University of South Carolina. He discusses his trilogy, Love and War. He states that the Civil War period probably brought about the greatest change in our nation in the bloodiest way, in the shortest period of time, of any event in our history, where the whole country changed direction. It is also a story of brother against brother, and cousin against cousin, that cannot be matched.

When asked how Jakes chooses which stories to write from our history, his response is that this comes to a writer instinctively after 30 or 40 years. It is also possible to guess wrong. He writes about what interests him, in the hopes that it will interest readers, if he makes it interesting enough.

Mr. Jakes discusses his two TV mini-series, North and South and Love and War. He says that Heaven and Hell is in the development phase. He is not a screenwriter, and he doesn't become closely involved in the production of these mini-series, saying it is too time-consuming.

Mr. Jakes says that he loves doing the research for his books and that he probably should have been a college professor but didn't have the money for the Ph.D.

Mr. Jakes says he did not enjoy history in school. It was movies that interested him in history. 

Mr. Jakes closes by reading a passage from Love and War