Interview with Rick Revelle, author of I Am Algonquin

Interview with Rick Revelle, author of I Am Algonquin thumbnail

Interview with Rick Revelle, author of I Am Algonquin

Posted on February 18 by Rick Revelle
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To kick off our Kids and Teens week we have an interview with Rick Revelle, author of I Am Algonquin. Rick tells us where he got the idea for his book, his ideal writing environment, and what he's working on next!

Caitlyn: How did you come up with the idea for your book "I Am Algonquin?"

Rick: In 2006  I went and watched the movie Apocalypto directed by Mel Gibson. I was mesmerized by the warfare between the neighbouring tribes and the way life was unfolding for the people of South America pre-European. The final scene of the movie triggered my creative juices. Being Algonquin descent I could never find anything written about my ancestors. No heroes, no books in print about the Algonquin's except a few general books talking about canoe making etc. It was like we never existed, no one wrote about us to any general extent. So I set out to teach readers about our ways and language.

Caitlyn: How did you come up with the title "I Am Algonquin?"

Rick: One day our band was holding a meeting and of course as always there was an open forum. The topic that day was about the survival of the Algonquin Nation. I remember I stood up and was quite emotional, I said " I Am Algonquin and will always be an Algonquin and my son will always be an Algonquin!" Ten years later when I started to write my book I instantly knew what I wanted the title to be.

Caitlyn: What is my ideal writing environment?

Rick: Anytime from November to April with a big pot of green tea and complete silence with no interruptions. I read for research during the summer months making notes and golf every day. However when I sit down to write I will write from three to six hours and research on the internet and phone people for expert advice. When I write I am there experiencing what is happening, fighting the battles, hunting, it is as I am there. I am in the midst of it all.

Caitlyn: What character am I most attached to?

Rick: Mahingan is the main character in my story. He is telling the story for the most part. However my favourite is Mitigomij, Mahingan's brother. Mitigomij was born with a club foot and as a child was taught to be a fierce warrior. He is the guardian of the family unit and his enemies fear him. However he is mystical and deadly.

Mitigomij for me shows what can be accomplished if you work hard. He and his brothers do not let his handicap hinder him. He has defeated his handicap and became stronger because of it. He is a hero!

The inspiration for Mitigomij came from a golfing friend of mine whose grandson was born with two club feet and some other problems. He died very, very young. Knowing what is grandfather was like and how he would have raised this boy I took it one step farther and made him my greatest warrior. The book is dedicated in his memory.

Caitlyn: What is my next project?

Rick: I am currently working on the sequel to "I Am Algonquin." I have it almost done. It is called "Algonquin Spring" and continues on six years later from the Battle at the Falls and the capture of Mahingan's wife near the end of my first book. Algonquin Spring will introduce the reader to the Beothuk and Mi´Kmag Nations, plus more information on the Algonquin enemies the Mohawks. There will be new and exciting characters. I will also start to familiarize my readers with the Mohawk and Mi´Kmaq languages. After that book is done, I plan on another book in the series.

Rick Revelle

Posted by Dundurn Guest on December 6, 2014
Rick Revelle photo

Rick Revelle

Rick Revelle was born in Smiths Falls, Ontario, and raised in the Odessa and Wilton areas. He is a member of the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation. His two previous books in the Algonquin Quest series were I Am Algonquin and Algonquin Spring. He lives in Glenburnie, Ontario.