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Book Review of Molôn Labé and Interview with Author Boston T. Party
Review and interview by Lady Liberty
15 April 2004

From the author of Goodbye April 15th! comes a novel about a man who turns Wyoming into a free state - similar to the free state project efforts currently taking place by libertarian minded people in states like New Hampshire.

The first novel by noted non-fiction writer Boston T. Party, Molôn Labé! tells the story of a man with a plan to restore liberty to at least one small corner of the United States of America.

In the novel, James Preston is a military veteran and a decent man whose faith in the government and the American justice system is severely shaken when a local man goes on trial. The man is accused of a crime Preston doesn't see as being a criminal act, and adding insult to injury is the fact that some on the side of the prosecution are so anxious for a conviction that they step well over an ethical line.

Together with some like-minded locals, Preston begins to formulate a plan that will see his state - Wyoming - become a place of freedom for those willing to live and work there. But such a road isn't an easy one, and government officials actively work to discourage such actions once they become aware of them. Meanwhile, it's not just Preston and his camp that find certain developments in government frightening or just plain unconstitutional. A few take action of their own, including an heroic elderly man who has decided that he's had just about enough.

With all of the previous writing experience Boston can bring to bear, he manages to avoid many of the pitfalls of first-time fiction writers. He doesn't overuse particular phrases, and his background information doesn't contradict itself from one scene to the next (of course, his substantial knowledge base of his topic also helps). It may be tempting to say that his characters aren't adequately fleshed out, and to an extent that's true; on the other hand, it's so largely because there are a number of characters involved in a substantial and complex story, and to flesh them out fully would consume significantly more pages than the 454 pages that it does. Despite that, each of the main characters are well-established enough that what happens to them next does matter to the reader.

Boston T. Party's other books are so popular in part because they're educational. He seems to be a natural teacher, and that also comes through in Molôn Labé! as you go along. In fact, the final pages of the book are background material that one character or another mentions in the book, or which go to support plot points. While that does make the story even more real, there are a few occasions when characters within the story itself tend to expound rather than to simply speak like we might to each other. But the circumstances usually make it plausible, so I can't say it interrupted the flow of the story. And I suspect that with a little more practice in the fiction arena, such information will in the future be delivered to the reader more naturally.

Lady Liberty's Read: Molôn Labé! is a compelling read, not simply because the story itself will hold your attention but because it does bear some resemblence to the real-life Free State and Free State Wyoming Projects. While you'll be able to use this book as many other novels as an enjoyable escape of sorts, I suspect you'll also find it an interesting commentary on today's America, and how we might address the problems that we see. I enjoyed Molôn Labé! very much. I've been moved to tears or laughter by books before, but I must confess that Molôn Labé! is the first I've read that actually moved me to hope.

* * *

Interview with Boston T. Party on Fiction, Freedom, and Free State Wyoming

Lady Liberty is pleased to be able to publish this exclusive interview with noted libertarian advocate and author, Boston T. Party. His previous books include such valuable references as Boston's Gun Bible, Bulletproof Privacy, and Hologram of Liberty; his most recent literary effort is that of his first novel, Molôn Labé! (see also our book review of Molôn Labé!). Boston T. Party is currently working on, among other things, the Free State Wyoming project. For more information on Boston T. Party's available books, to purchase books online, and updates on Free State Wyoming, visit the Javelin Press website.

Lady Liberty: Boston, you're known as a successful writer of non-fiction books. What made you decide to try your hand at writing a novel?

Boston T. Party: After finishing Hologram of Liberty I concluded that our only chance of freedom was to geographically concentrate on a small conservative state and liberate it politically. After even the barest of research, it became obvious that Wyoming was tailor-made for such an effort. When I envisioned what it would take to convince thousands of serious liberty-lovers to relocate to Wyoming, I knew that only a novel could possibly offer that kind of inspiration. A sort of Galt's Gulch blueprint, if you will.

So, in 1997 I penned a couple of chapters to see if I thought I had the basic skills of a novelist. I liked the rough cut, and so did my family and friends. Although I had insufficient appreciation for the difficulty of a novel's construction, the necessity of the book and its artistic challenge made Molôn Labé! required writing.

LL: Did you find all of the research you've done for previous books to be helpful in writing this book?

BTP: Inasmuch what research Molôn Labé! demanded, certainly. However, research is not writing, and clearly not fiction writing.

LL: Did you find your past history as a researcher helped or hindered you in writing the book?

BTP: Probably not so much my past history, but what was more difficult was more fundamental: my own nature, as a writer and as a person. I'm mostly a teacher at heart, and this obviously shined through in my first eight books - which were all non-fiction. A teaching propensity is generally not an advantage in a novel. In the case of Molôn Labé! the story was primarily about ideas and action (versus characters), so the book was expected to educate as well as entertain. Hence, I think I skated under the wire with all those details I couldn't help myself for including.

Since Molôn Labé! is a pretty thorough guide on how just 40,000 of us could "liberate" Wyoming, readers should understand that it's an unusual book for a singular purpose.

LL: How long has the story idea been in the back of your mind, and what finally made you start writing it?

BTP: Since the summer of 1997. I felt that I had no choice but to write it, as Wyoming was my vision. And, at that time, the entire free state idea was pretty much my own vision. Only 2-4 years later did I begin to hear of others arriving at the same conclusion. Molôn Labé! took about 6 calendar years, and of that nearly 3 years of full-time work.

LL: There's some surface similarity between your book and the real-world Free State Projects. Do you consider your book to be predictive in any way? If so, in what ways?

BTP: Any similarities are only surface deep. Being a fan of Nikolai Tesla, the whole thing reminds me of him having invented, in his mind, alternating current electricity years before Edison had put much of New York City on the vastly inferior direct current. Tesla's AC won out, as it should have, though not before he had to prove his case against Edison's DC which was already being used. I think that my Free State Wyoming, whose timing was dependent on the prior publication of Molôn Labé!, is quickly becoming known as the superior free state choice over the Edisonian/DC Free State Project. Oftentimes, an earlier manifestation of an idea is not the best.

Molôn Labé! was not so much predictive, rather than the FSP was independent and parallel. When an idea is ready to be born, it is gestating in many wombs simultaneously. This is why Nobel Prizes are often shared amongst independent, concurrent discoverers. In short, the idea of a libertarian migration to a small state was so right, so logical, and so inevitable that others were bound to come up with it. A good idea is always predictive of itself, and when its time has come, it will find the best mother.

LL: In the Appendices of the book, there's a good deal of information about Wyoming as well as the rationale for the "Free State" plan you write about in the novel. Does this plan resemble greatly your real life plans?

BTP: Yes and no. Where the details of Molôn Labé! can obviously be used in real life, then it's a valuable guide. Where they do not, such as 9,000 free staters waiting with their engines running (and backed by a brilliant multi-millionaire family), then such were clearly part of the story.

Some western free staters have mistaken Molôn Labé! to be some 100% blueprint of action, which I never meant the book to be. Now, if we already had millionaire James Preston onboard - and 9,000 people with bags packed - Molôn Labé! would be the blueprint...

LL: How much do you relate to the book's main character (James Preston)? How alike are the two of you?

BTP: He's older, more financially successful, a combat vet, and he has Juliette and two children. I think of Preston sort of like an older brother whom I admire and emulate. And we certainly think alike.

LL: Obviously, you have to make a story believable if you want it to resonate with your readers. But just how much of the general background of Molôn Labé! is already reality, and how much might be on its way?

BTP: Much of Molôn Labé! is beginning to come true. Not that I am that good of a prognosticator, but history is generally repetitive and thus fairly easy to forecast - at least in the broad strokes. What will make Molôn Labé! real is the fact that I decided late last year to spearhead an actual migration, which I call the Free State Wyoming. Though my preference was that the Free State Project members had decided on Wyoming - and it was a rather close election considering that not even half voted - it is apparently my duty to see this through. In fact, my entire writing career as Boston T. Party retrospectively makes much more sense, as I believe in such concepts as fate and destiny.

I always knew that I would do interesting and important things throughout my life, and have, but they pale in comparison to the ripe possibilities of Free State Wyoming. While writing books is very satisfying, my reputation can be harnessed to greater things than that. There is much more I can do, much more I can offer than ink on paper. My nine books have been prelude and boot camp for a very exciting real-world goal: The creation of America's first free state since the 18th century.

LL: Do you think the real-world triggers for some of the events depicted on Molôn Labé! are already in place? And do you suppose the most likely result of such events will bear much resemblance to those described in the book?

BTP: If the triggers aren't already in place, they likely soon will be. I don't know the future, but I am absolutely confident of two things:

1) the federal government will not relent in its continued compression of the American people, and

2) many Americans will at some point resist their unlawful and unconstitutional oppression.

Basically, a train wreck is on the horizon. While I hope that our masters wake up and realize that they're pushing this country over the cliff in a mutually tangled mess, their arrogance will likely prevent such an awakening. They are much more likely going to foment an insurrection, at least regionally in the Rural South and Inland West. How they cannot know this just astonishes me. They must really believe that they'll win, which is even more astonishing given that America has a revolutionary past, and is the largest potential guerrilla base in history. Never before have an oppressed people been so well suited - intellectually, spiritually, and physically - to slough off their own masters.

LL: Did you intend Molôn Labé! to be as much a lesson of sorts as a good story?

BTP: Ah, well, if it was intended to be a lesson, then it would be inappropriate for me to say what that lesson should be. I'll just leave that up to the reader.

LL: What do you most hope readers will get from reading your book?

BTP: That you are not what you believe in; you are what you will fight for. That Thought is a means to the end of Action. That those who profess to love freedom must be capable and willing potential foes of tyranny. It doesn't matter that one is a libertarian; they'll let us all read Atlas Shrugged in the camps. What matters is how much one will defend liberty, and at what price. Only when an oppressed people are angry or desperate enough to fight, can they avoid the fight. We cannot read or think our way back to freedom. We must be willing and able to fight for it.

History is perfectly clear on this. Because Americans are not yet willing and able to fight, our bluff is called at every opportunity. We need to stop bluffing and get serious about liberty - or finally throw in the towel and quit this "home of the brave/land of the free" charade. We're arrived at an embarrassing point of resting on our laurels, bragging about our past like Egyptians boasting of their wealthy past during the Pharoahs. Americans must one day at last simply decide if we will be free, and then act. Until that point, we are like the queasy drunk hugging the toilet who refuses to stick a finger down his throat to vomit out the poison. Sure, the act is awful to contemplate, but he would feel so much better, and quickly.

LL: What's been the preliminary reaction to the book?

BTP: Overwhelmingly positive across the board. Nearly every reader has not only enjoyed it, for all its faults, but got a lot out of it. I can't ask for more than that, especially for my first novel

LL: What would you like to say to everyone who has read your book?

BTP: That liberty has always required planning, action, and sacrifice. That there is no "Liberty" on life's remote control - we'll have to actually get up out of our reclining chair. For example, I've heard from some people that Wyoming is too cold. That means they've placed a higher priority on the weather than freedom - it's that simple, sorry. Well, as far as I know, all the tropical states have already been taken and are filled to bursting with people. A small, cold state is all that is left to us because Americans didn't wise up three generations ago and take California or Florida for liberty.

While no locale can be perfect, Wyoming is good enough for most folks serious about our last and best shot for freedom. And it means moving there, which is inconvenient at best. But that's a price of liberty. Convenience and ease are usually the temptations of oppression. Don't think, don't act, don't speak out, don't risk...and you'll be safe.

LL: What message would you like to give those people who haven't read the book yet?

BTP: That Molôn Labé! offers a very interesting and compelling story for those feeling hopeless for the future of freedom. That such a story can actually happen if only a few thousand of us will do it. Our American ancestors crossed an ocean in wooden boats to be free. Wyoming is just a few days' drive away. Our future can be in our own hands, if we will dare to take it. I'm going to grab life's reins and ride!

LL: Do you have anything to say to those who don't think they want to?

BTP: If they are supposedly fascinated by a free society, why wouldn't they want to? Especially since there is so little freedom fiction out there.

LL: Will you be writing more fiction in the future? Asequel to Molôn Labé! perhaps, or something entirely new?

BTP: I'm completely hooked on writing fiction! Hemingway once said that writing is something you can never do as well as it can be done, and that's dead-on true. But what a challenge! Like martial arts, it's not a destination, but a journey, and I love the continuous development and honing of my craft. Non-fiction was beginning to bore me - stylistically, I mean - but fiction is like using colors instead of grays.

I'm already piecing together the sequel to Molôn Labé! in my mind, and am learning how I can improve my writing. I look forward to much more character development, for example. Much more "showing" vs. "telling" (which is my nature).

Writing a novel seems to me like painting with oils, insofar as the layers involved. The art is using the surface as a portal for the layers underneath, which are more subtle, complex, interesting, and poignant. That was difficult for me at first, but it slowly became more natural to me later on. A novelist takes the reader's senses over by remote control - possesses the reader by permission - and that's an incredible scope of license! One which I was quite unaccustomed to. Taking such strings in hand and molding the reader's visualization to engender a specific response was a very heady sensation for me. Words are the most powerful narcotic we have, and the dispensation of them is an enormous power. I take this very seriously.

I just got a letter from a reader of Molôn Labé! who paid me the highest compliment I could ever hope to receive as a novelist. During a character's death scene, she confessed that she sobbed. When a novelist hears that, he knows that he has written well. After dozens of rewrites and revisions, for the novelist the magic and suspense is gone, so hearing that readers were actually moved to tears or fury or laughter is incredibly rewarding.

I've still many things to say and many ideas to convey, and I am very grateful to have discovered the joys of writing fiction. My future novels will be written with loving care and concern- never just to pay the rent by spewing out "entertainment." To me, words are far too precious. If what I write doesn't change hearts and minds, if what I write doesn't affect history - then I'm not doing my job. A mere living I could make somewhere else, and should. Being a writer is an honor, and I will not squander it on any focus unworthy of that honor. To do so would insult my readers. Even if they did not know it, I would, and I just won't live that way.

©2004 by Lady Liberty and ladylibrty.com. All rights reserved. Reprints available by permission of the author only. To request permission, send e-mail to [email protected].

Molôn Labé! is available for purchase directly from Javelin Press.

Lady Liberty runs Lady Liberty's Constitution Clearinghouse.

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