This summer, author, historian, and publisher Colin Mustful is available to speak at libraries, museums, book clubs, bookstores, and various other organizations across the state. As the author of four historical novels about Minnesota’s complicated history of settler-colonialism and Native displacement, Mustful is eager to engage with audiences about what he’s learned while he continues to confront, study, and convey history. Additionally, Mustful is the founder and editor of History Through Fiction, an independent press publishing historical fiction novels and stories. He’s looking forward to sharing his publishing journey with readers and writers alike, while providing lessons on writing and publishing.
If you’d like to invite Mustful to speak at your club or organization, you can do so use using the following calendar link: https://calendly.com/colinmustful While Mustful is open to developing a unique presentation or workshop that best fits the needs of your patrons, he has developed is a list of pre-conceived presentations which are listed below.
Please note that all presentation fees are negotiable and may vary based on your organization’s distance from his home in Roseville.
If you’d like to attend one of Mustful’s presentations, please see the list of currently scheduled programs at his events page.
Resisting Removal: The Sandy Lake Tragedy and the Years that Followed
This presentation will catalog the events surrounding the Lake Superior Ojibwe in the years 1850 to 1855. Specifically, it will focus on the illegal removal efforts of Minnesota Territorial Governor Alexander Ramsey and Indian Agent John Watrous who attempted the forced removal of the Lake Superior Ojibwe which resulted in the death of 400 Ojibwe at Sandy Lake, Minnesota. The presentation begins by considering important elements of cultural and historical interpretation, then provides a cultural and political context of the 1850 Removal Order, then details the continued removal efforts after the Sandy Lake Tragedy and the perseverance of the Lake Superior Ojibwe to resist those efforts and earn a new treaty that promised permanent reservation homes in their homeland.
The U.S. – Dakota War of 1862: A Historical Context
The U.S. – Dakota War of 1862 was a watershed event with a major, long-lasting impact. But what was the U.S. – Dakota War and how and why did it happen? In this presentation, I trace the history of the U.S. – Dakota War beginning in 1805 when the Dakota signed the Pike Treaty at Bdote. Throughout the presentation, I identify the multiple perspectives and factors that, over time, contributed to the Mankato hanging and the expulsion of the Dakota and Ho-Chunk peoples from Minnesota to Crow Creek, South Dakota. Before completing the presentation, I will read an excerpt or two from my novels about the U.S. – Dakota War.
Historical Presentation (View a recording of this presentation)
A Welcome Tragedy: Factors that Led to the U.S. – Dakota War of 1862
On December 26, 1862, the United States Government hanged thirty-eight Dakota people in Mankato, Minnesota, for their participation in what is known as the U.S. – Dakota War of 1862. This remains the largest mass execution in U.S. history. But the hangings and the depredations that preceded them were not the result of an isolated incident or event. The war did not occur by chance. Rather, it was the foreseeable result of years of misconduct, fraud, and exploitation. Recommendations were made and warnings were given, but nothing was done. In this presentation, I will reveal the faults within the Indian System that fostered neglect, nourished corruption, and welcomed tragedy.
Fiction Craft Presentation:
Authorial Intrusion and the Civil War Novel: How to Write History Through Fiction
Historical fiction is one of the most popular literary genres. When done well it brings history to life, teaching readers about important historical people and events while also evoking profound, relatable emotions through its characters. But how does the historical author balance history and fiction? In this presentation, I carefully examine four Civil War narratives and identify how each author incorporates important historical details into their novels without disrupting the fictional dream. Throughout the presentation I identify the specific elements that make a historical novel effective and engaging, showing readers and writers alike how to write history through fiction. At the end, I will guide patrons through the process of turning a historical document into a fictional scene.
Publishing Industry Presentation:
Beyond Craft: An Explanation of the Publishing Process
As an independent author and publisher I have a wealth of experience and knowledge to share with readers of all levels. Beginning as an independent author, I was naive to the challenges and pitfalls of the publishing process. After years of experience and education, I learned about what it means to be an author and how and why to publish a novel. In this presentation, I will talk with writers about the process of making the idea of a story into a completed manuscript, and then making that manuscript into a published novel. I will tell writers about important steps in the writing and publishing process such as finding Beta Readers and developing an online presence. I will give them tips on how to get their manuscripts noticed by publishers and I will tell them how and why I choose whether or not to publish a manuscript that has been submitted to my press. I will end the presentation with a Q&A session to ensure I have not missed any important questions about the writing and publishing process.