[videorecording] Filmed before the scenery of his rural Southern Indiana homestead, novelist James Alexander Thom talks about the philosophies and methods that frame his historical fiction. Believing that "character is a product of one's landscape," Thom uses his respect for and knowledge of the skills, resourcefulness, and self-reliance of contemporary "hill people" to re-create a visceral sense of living in the past. Thom's commitment to obtaining factual evidence as a basis for his novels leads him to seek out not only public documentation of historical events, but also those individuals, such as members of the Shawnee nation, who have preserved the past through generations of oral history. Thom is the author of Long Knife, the story of George Rogers Clark; Follow the River, the story of Mary Ingall's abduction and daring escape from the Indians; From Sea to Shining Sea, the saga of the entire Clark family; and Panther in the Sky, a biographical account of the life of the Shawnee leader, Tecumseh. Red Ribbon, 1991 American Film & Video Festival.