Books From Your Neighbors: Local Published Authors
••Tuesday•, 03 •June• 2014 12:56•

Alison Treat: Local author Alison Treat wrote One Traveler, a novel with a Civil War setting.

Alison Treat

   Local author Alison Treat wrote One Traveler, a novel with a Civil War setting. Treat, who holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from King’s College, said she first got the idea for this book when she was a teenager. At that time, she read Gone with the Wind and thought author Margaret Mitchell painted a glorified picture of the antebellum South and portrayed the North as an evil power that destroyed a beautiful way of life. She then decided that she would write a book with a different point of view, a more historically accurate view since slavery was abolished in the North first. Treat explained that over the years, her book evolved and ended up focusing more on the Underground Railroad and less on the Civil War itself, but felt her original intention was accomplished to some degree.
   One Traveler tells the story of Sidney, a 17-year-old who goes to live with his aunt and uncle after the loss of his parents. Upon arrival, he is surprised to find out that they are actively helping slaves escape to the North. Young Sidney has different ideas at first, but they change over a period of time. Although this is a historical novel, Treat includes a real-life character, abolitionist William Gildersleeve, from Wilkes-Barre. She also works in local places when writing about Underground Railroad stops in Scranton, Montrose, and other areas in NEPA.
“I want to create interest in this time period for younger readers,” Treat said in summing up her overall purpose for the book. “High school students enjoy One Traveler and I hope it gives them a glimpse of life as it was in 1860, with our nation on the brink of Civil War.”
   Treat’s goal was to accurately reflect the passion of the men and women working on the Underground Railroad and the drive and hardships of those who escaped slavery.
   “It’s easy for us to forget that not long ago the United States was an unfriendly place for black people. We still have a ways to go when it comes to racial equality, especially in the attitudes of individuals,” she said. “Just over 150 years ago we were still enslaving our darker-skinned brothers and sisters. It’s a tragedy, but it also gives me hope to see how far we’ve come in a relatively short time.”
   One Traveler can be purchased from Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, or from alisontreat.com. Find me on Facebook. Follow me on Twitter.

Mark Malcavage

Local author and photographer Mark     Malcavage recently published My Cape May, a book containing his collection of 230 beautiful, full-color photographs of the town, beaches, and wildlife of Cape May, New Jersey.
   Like many other NEPA residents, Malcavage and his family headed to Cape May every summer since he was a small child. It was there where he first fell in love with the ocean and said he was never happier than when he had sand between his toes while breathing in salty air, and he captures that love of Cape May in his photos.
   “You can feel close to God anywhere, but for me, the beach draws me in deep. Maybe it is the power and vastness of the ocean,” he said.
   He explained that the town of Cape May is a special place — not your typical Jersey shore town — and has a personality of its own. He added that it is only fitting that his first book is on Cape May, since that was where he spent most of his time with a camera in his hand. He even credits this special place as being responsible for his development as a photographer.
   As a kid and teen, Malcavage played around with photography, but never thought of it as something that would be his career. However, with his creative and artistic personality in other areas, it was a natural progression for that creativity to come out when he had a camera in hand. He had an inherent sense of composition and really enjoyed capturing the beauty of what he saw. Receiving positive feedback from others encouraged him to take the step transitioning from snapshots to photographic art.
   Although Malcavage works as a registered nurse and does photography on the side, he considers photography much more than just a hobby. It is a passion that is evident to the viewer when looking at his work. One of his other passions is music,
especially the technical side of music production, and he pursues this passion by volunteering on the technical team at his church.
   My Cape May can be purchased directly from his website, at www.CapeMayPics.com, where Malcavage offers to include a personalized inscription in his book. Prints suitable for framing can also be purchased from the website. The book can also be purchased from major booksellers such as Barnes & Noble and Amazon in addition to bookstores in Cape May.

Richard P. Cobb

Ambrose: Civil War Journey recounts the life of Ambrose Cobb, an Iowa farm boy swept up in a call to the Union Cause in a four-year Civil War journey. To add to the interest in this book, we note that Ambrose is the great-grandfather of local author, Richard (Dick) Cobb.
   Cobb first became interested in writing this book while on location to make the movie Gettysburg, in which he appeared as one of the six “Hot Heads of the 2nd Maine.” He was also later involved in the TV production of Andersonville and subsequently appeared as a southern senator in the film Gods and Generals.
   As you can see from his acting experience, Cobb is an expert on the Civil War. However, he did much more research to write this historically accurate tale of the life and military service of his great-grandfather. Cobb’s intensive research included traveling to find sources such as military records and memoirs of both Grant and Sherman. He made numerous visits to battlefields, libraries, museums, courthouses, historical societies, historical exhibits, and the National Archives in Washington, D.C. Along with studying many books on the history of the Civil War, other very valuable sources for Cobb’s book included first-hand interviews with his relatives, who shared their own memories of Ambrose. 
   The book Ambrose is part of an unpublished work titled, American Journey, with Part One beginning with the Cobb family’s role in the “Great Puritan Migration” to Plymouth Colony in 1629 and follows its history through the Revolutionary War. Part Two will conclude with other family members such as his grandfather, Aden, and his father, Richard D. Cobb.
   “Still carrying the torch are myself; son Richard M.; and his son, Richard E. Cobb,” he said.
   His research and writing started in 2008 and continues to the present. Before taking on this monumental task, Cobb completed a 35-year career as a school psychologist. Retirement allowed the time he needed for travel and research. Regarding recognition for his work, we note that Ambrose was added to the Jefferson Library at West Point; the archival collection of the United States Army Military history; Heritage and Education Center, Carlisle; and Iowa’s Historical Society as well as others.
   Ambrose: Civil War Journey may be purchased at Barnes & Noble Booksellers, in Wilkes Barre, where a recent book signing was held. This book may also be purchased at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble (in store or online), and Authorhouse.com in hard-cover, soft-cover, and e-book.


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