Some of you know that since I retired two and a half years ago, I’ve been working on a novel inspired by my grandparents’ lives and the discoveries I’ve made about them and their extended families through my genealogy research. Well, I finally put my “pen” down and decided to call it done.
It’s been an exciting process for me because ever since I learned to read, I’ve wanted to write a novel. All through my career when I was writing long, boring articles for law journals, I wished that instead I was writing a novel. Novels have been my refuge all my life. I love being transported to different times and places and seeing into the hearts and minds of all kinds of characters. I just wanted a chance to try to create some characters of my own. When I retired, I promised myself that I would give it a try.
One friend reprimanded me when I said I was trying to write a novel. She said, “Don’t say that. Say you are writing a novel.” I was and am insecure about the whole thing. I never took a fiction writing course, participated in a writing workshop, or wrote any fiction at all, not since I wrote stories as a young child. What did I know?
My only sources of information about writing a novel were all the novels I’d read starting when I read Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White when I was eight years old. That book transported me in ways that changed the way I felt about reading. I cried so hard (spoiler alert) when Charlotte died. And she was just a spider! A fictional spider! How had the author made her so real and moved me to care so much?
Now that I’ve written my own novel, I am even more in awe of the many great authors whose books have moved me so deeply. I am humbled by what those authors were able to do with words, and thus I feel presumptuous trying to promote my own book, despite my friend’s reprimand.
But it was a labor of love—love for family and love for the magic of the written word. I wrote this book for my children and grandchildren so that they would have a taste of what their ancestors’ lives were like. I had lots of help and inspiration from my family and friends, as I acknowledge at the end of the book. And so despite this aching feeling of insecurity, I do want to share and promote my book so that others will also know the story I’ve created about my grandparents—grounded in fact, but expanded upon by my imagination.
I hope that you will be tempted to read it. You can find it on Amazon both as a paperback ($6.99) and as a Kindle ebook ($2.99) at https://www.amazon.com/dp/1541170369
If you do read it, I’d love your feedback. Thank you!