Author dispels false truths in History Channel miniseries

Carolina Astrain By Carolina Astrain

Dec. 3, 2015 at 10:57 p.m.

David Marion Wilkinson gives a reading at the University of Houston-Victoria on Thursday as part of the American Book Review reading series.

David Marion Wilkinson gives a reading at the University of Houston-Victoria on Thursday as part of the American Book Review reading series.   CAROLINA ASTRAIN/CASTRAIN@VICAD.COM for The Victoria Advocate

David Marion Wilkinson tapped his eyeglasses onto his book, "Not Between Brothers," before reading a passage from the last chapter.

"I read over 80 books to write this one," Wilkinson said. "The first edition sold out in two months."

Wilkinson, a screenwriter, author and Texas resident since 1972, gave a reading at the University of Houston-Victoria as part of the American Book Review reading series Thursday.

Wilkinson read to a roomful of community members and students from his books, "Where the Mountains Are Thieves,"* and "One Ranger," and also spoke about a miniseries biopic about Laura Ingalls Wilder and her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, of "Little House on the Prairie" fame.

"There's some controversy there about how closely she worked with her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, who is this amazing woman," Wilkinson said. "So I'm reading that biography and seeing the pain and trauma involved in that homesteading lifestyle; the government baited these people to go out and live in the prairie."

Steven Sewalt, a senior at St. Joseph High School, was at the reading along with some of his fellow classmates and English teacher.

"It's real cool to meet the different authors and hear their different perspectives and how they write," Steven, 17, said.

After the reading, Wilkinson shared his experience on the development of the script for the History Channel's "Texas Rising."

"I got hammered when that thing aired," Wilkinson said.

When the miniseries production team took on designing historical Victoria, there were several details that aren't reflective of its actual history, Wilkinson said.

"It looks like something out of the set from 'Gunsmoke' or something," Wilkinson said. "And the Indians with their Rod Stewart haircuts, they weren't Karankawas ... all of this failed to register with people in L.A."

Steven said he enjoyed learning about the facts behind the founding of Victoria during the reading.

"It was cool hearing about how to respect culture and heritage and stuff like that, to get an idea of it," Steven said.

*Correction: David Marion Wilkinson read from his book, "Where the Mountains Are Thieves," at the American Book Review series. An article printed on Page A3 in Friday's paper had the wrong book title.


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