I have neglected my blog for some time, I know. Probably not the best way to keep in touch, but I have been working pretty strongly on the John Series. The first of the books, John: The Making of a Longhunter, is in the re-visioning stage. I have an editor, Jessica Drollette, who has given me several – OK more than several – suggestions for making the story better. As I work through her insightful comments, I have made (and am making) some changes. These changes are not so much the overall story, but to how it is told. I am half-way through the process of dealing with editorial comments, and then I will go through the novel at least one more time for continuity and pace.
Working on the modifications was difficult at first since I was reading the novel as it was in my head. Not all of that vision made it to paper in the way that engaged the reader continually. I spent some time not knowing where to start the process, and then decided that I would just go chapter to chapter dealing with Jessica’s comments and suggestions. I thought that process would lead to another time through to re-write according to the changes. What actually is happening is that I am addressing her points and re-writing at the same time. The next time through will be to make sure everything ties together.
Another revelation that finally beat its way through my skull was the realization that although this book is based on a real person and real events, it is neither a true biography nor a history book. Okay, look at each other and say, “Well duh!” So when I realized that, I didn’t have to keep all the names the same as they actually were; did not have to have all the siblings, nor all the real backstory of the family. I went back to the original question that was the impetus for starting the book. “How did an ordinary person growing up in Colonies end up fighting with George Rodgers Clark in the Revolutionary War, and then becoming one of the first judges in Kentucky.” So the book is really about the rise of an ordinary citizen than a biography of the actual John. John became the proxy.
I have spent hours making sure that I am as historically accurate as I can about the events, places, and characters with which I have associated John. However, this is a novel – not a history book.
In the time that John-1 was with Jessica, I was working on the first draft of John-2 (John: From Longhunter to Longknife) and did the conceptual outline for John-3 (John: A Man of Kentucky.) I will try to be better at adding bits and pieces to the blog that provide information about the life and times of John including information on progress toward publication.