Thursday, March 14, 2019

Mike Winchell

Mike Winchell is the author of Electric War: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the Race to Light the World, a new book for young adults. From his Q&A with Deborah Kalb:

Q: Why did you decide to write about Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, and George Westinghouse, and how would you describe the dynamic among them?

A: To be honest, nonfiction wasn’t really on my radar initially. I had always written fiction, but after shopping a couple projects with my agent we had a conversation and she recommended I explore writing nonfiction.

She saw something in my writing that indicated my voice would translate nicely to narrative nonfiction. I must admit, she was right. I took to it immediately.

The Gilded Age is such a fascinating time period because our country was spreading its wings when it came to science and invention. I knew a decent amount about the war of the currents already, but as I started delving deep into my research, I knew this was a story that needed to be shared with young adults.

I think young people are only told about “the great Thomas Edison” in the typical classroom, and I feel it’s important to share the true story with them. If ever there was a man who was corrupted by competition and cutthroat capitalism, it was Thomas Edison.

The fire in his eyes with regards to his main competitors, Nikola Tesla and George Westinghouse, became a raging inferno. Edison stopped at nothing to...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue