Crompton, Samuel Willard 1961–

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Crompton, Samuel Willard 1961–

PERSONAL: Born June 3, 1961, in Northampton, MA; son of Willard (a woodworker) and Anne (a writer; maiden name, Eliot) Crompton. Education: Framingham State College, B.A., 1983; Duke University, M.A., 1987; University College of Cape Breton, certificate in historic conservation and presentation, 1997. Politics: Democrat. Religion: "Religious seeker." Hobbies and other interests: Sailing, lighthouses, tennis, nautical history.

ADDRESSES: Office—Holyoke Community College, Homestead Ave., Holyoke, MA 01040. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Writer and educator. Holyoke Community College, Holyoke, MA, adjunct professor of American history and western civilization, 1990–. Chesterfield Bend Conservation Trust, president, 1998–2002; Chesterfield Cultural Council member, 2002–.

MEMBER: Society for Quebec Studies, New England Historical Association, Massachusetts Teachers Association, Chesterfield Historical Society (vice president, 2001–05).

WRITINGS:

Gods and Goddesses of Classical Mythology, Dove Tail Books, 1997.

The Lighthouse Book, photographs by Charles J. Ziga, Barnes & Noble (New York, NY), 1999.

(Editor) Illustrated Atlas of Native American History, Book Sales, Incorporated, 1999.

(With Michael J. Rhein) The Ultimate Book of Lighthouses: History, Legend, Lore, Design, Technology, Romance, Thunder Bay Press (San Diego, CA), 2000.

(Editor) Pillar to Post: Odysseys in Revolutionary America, Writer's Showcase Press, 2000.

(Editor) Meet the Khan: Western Views of Ogedai, Kuyuk, and Kublai, iUniverse (Lincoln, NE), 2000.

Contributor to reference books, almanacs, and encyclopedias.

JUVENILE NONFICTION

Tenochtitlan, Chelsea House Publishers (Philadelphia, PA), 2002.

Hastings, Chelsea House Publishers (Philadelphia, PA), 2002.

Waterloo, Chelsea House Publishers (Philadelphia, PA), 2002.

Alexander the Great, introductory essay by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., Chelsea House Publishers (Philadelphia, PA), 2003.

Julius Caesar, introductory essay by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., Chelsea House Publishers (Philadelphia, PA), 2003.

Martin Luther, Chelsea House Publishers (Philadelphia, PA), 2003.

Pakistan, Chelsea House Publishers (Philadelphia, PA), 2003.

Gouverneur Morris: Creating a Nation, Enslow Publishers (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2004.

Thomas Merton, introductory essay by Martin E. Marty, Chelsea House Publishers (Philadelphia, PA), 2004.

The Third Crusade: Richard the Lionhearted vs. Saladin, introduction by Caspar W. Weinberger, Chelsea House Publishers (Philadelphia, PA), 2004.

The Printing Press: Transforming Power of Technology, Chelsea House Publishers (Philadelphia, PA), 2004.

The Repeating Rifle, Chelsea House Publishers (Philadelphia, PA), 2004.

Sinking of the Bismarck, introduction by Caspar W. Weinber ger, Chelsea House Publishers (Philadelphia, PA), 2004.

Jonathan Edwards, introductory essay by Martin E. Marty, Chelsea House Publishers (Philadelphia, PA), 2005.

100 Famous Americans Who Changed American History, World Almanac Library (Milwaukee, WI), 2005.

Thomas More and His Struggles of Conscience, Chelsea House Publishers (Philadelphia, PA), 2005.

Queen Elizabeth and England's Golden Age, Chelsea House Publishers (Philadelphia, PA), 2005.

Desiderius Erasmus, introductory essay by Martin E. Marty, Chelsea House Publishers (Philadelipha, PA), 2005.

John Adams: American Patriot, Chelsea House Publishers (Philadelphia, PA), 2005.

Emanuel Swedenborg, introductory essay by Martin E. Marty, Chelsea House Publishers (Philadelphia, PA), 2005.

Francis Drake and the Oceans of the World, Chelsea House Publishers (Philadelphia, PA), 2005.

Ferdinand Magellan and the Quest to Circle the Globe, Chelsea House Publishers (Philadelphia, PA), 2005.

Thomas Paine and the Fight for Liberty, Chelsea House Publishers (Philadelphia, PA), in press.

"THE 100 SERIES"

100 Battles That Shaped World History, Bluewood Books (San Mateo, CA), 1999.

100 Colonial Leaders Who Shaped North America, Bluewood Books (San Mateo, CA), 1999.

100 Families Who Shaped World History, Bluewood Books (San Mateo, CA), 1999.

100 Military Leaders Who Shaped World History, Bluewood Books (San Mateo, CA), 1999, North American edition, World Almanac Library (Milwaukee, WI), 2003.

100 Wars That Shaped World History, Bluewood Books (San Mateo, CA), 1999.

100 Relationships That Shaped World History, Bluewood Books (San Mateo, CA), 2000.

100 Spiritual Leaders Who Shaped World History, Bluewood Books (San Mateo, CA), 2001.

WORK IN PROGRESS: Research for an adult book about King Henry VIII and his monarchical rivals.

SIDELIGHTS: Samuel Willard Crompton told CA: "I've been lucky in my work and career. It began early for me, as I grew up in a farmhouse built in 1796. The presence of old rafters and beams helped me appreciate the beauty of what is already here in the world. My carpenter father and my writer mother helped a great deal in this.

"Today I teach history at Holyoke Community College. The students here motivate me. I enjoy introducing them to history and the craft of research. I take them to the college library and show them the wonders of the printed page (as opposed to the digital one).

"When the teaching day ends, I'm at home, in that same 1796 farmhouse. Here, at the computer, I visualize people as different as Benjamin Franklin, Thomas More, and Thomas Merton. Of course I've spent my time in the library beforehand, so I know a lot of facts. But as all storytellers know, the facts are never enough. Imagination and even play are needed to create a good story.

"Like all writers, I read a lot. Some of the best writing I find is in novels, psychology books, and self-help books. I've read a lot of Thomas Moore (Care of the Soul), Stephen Levine (A Year to Live), and John O'Donahue (Beauty) lately.

"It's taken a long time to hone my craft, but I feel it's all been worth it. Each version and then revision is worth doing because I want the eventual product to express elegantly what I know. Does that happen on the first draft? Once in a great while it does, but most times it takes the labor of vision and revision of the material.

"What do I hope for? A best-selling book! Recently I found a topic that might work. It's about King Henry VIII and his three great rivals in the European world; they were the superpower leaders of their day."

Crompton also told CA: "When I was young my father found a bayonet in the family garden; this Revolutionary War artifact helped along my visualization of history and the writing of it. I am inspired by writers from across the genres. In fantasy I particularly admire George R.R. Martin and in history I follow the works of many, including David McCullough, Samuel Eliot Morison, and David Hackett Fischer. For me the voice is the most important thing, something that can live with the subject or rise above it.

"Brevity is the soul of wit, and I truly enjoy older works, from, say, the 1940s and 1950s, particularly in English Tudor history. I admire authors who can accomplish a lot with a handful of words, or one sentence, and am turned off by those who go to great length in explication. I read scads of young-adult biographies in my teens and have now contributed to the genre, writing on people as diverse as Genghis Khan and Nelson Mandela. They are all grist for the mill, part of the great human story that keeps rolling and unfolding at the same time. I hope my work will kindle excitement in my readers, and that they will use the power of mind creation to achieve what is called for in their lives."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

School Library Journal, February, 2003, Gerry Larson, review of Pakistan, p. 157; July, 2003, Elizabeth Stumpf, review of 100 Military Leaders Who Shaped World History, p. 139; May, 2004, David Pauli, review of The Third Crusade: Richard the Lionhearted vs. Saladin, p. 165; June, 2004, Elizabeth Stumpf, review of The Printing Press: Transforming Power of Technology, p. 163.