The Improbable Journeys of Billy Battles
The Improbable Journeys of Billy Battles picks up where book one ended, with Billy Battles on a ship headed for the Orient. In a splendid combination of reality and fiction, the book shows readers that running away from one’s problems is not a winning strategy in life.
The year is 1894 and Billy is distraught because he has lost his wife to illness. He is also fleeing a violent past. Billy assumes that getting as far away as possible from the places where his pain and adversity originated will help him forget. Instead, his improbable journeys find him entangled with an assortment of vindictive and dubious characters of both sexes, including political opportunists, spies, revolutionaries, a German Baroness, and his unwitting involvement in war and revolution.
The exciting story captivates with its seamless meshing of actual, meticulously-researched historical events and real people with an unforgettable cast of fictional characters. Yates calls his trilogy a work of “faction” rather than fiction because it immerses readers in events that actually happened while viewing them through the lens of fiction.
“I want readers to finish each of the books in the trilogy feeling that they were transported back to another time and that they were immersed in a story well told. I want readers to understand that people who lived in the past had the same motivations, aspirations, and problems that people have today,” Yates says. “The technology, lifestyle, values, and morals were different, but the forces that motivate human behavior—greed, envy, passion, hate, and love—have remained the same.”