Greetings! After an extended break from blogging due to the holidays and other matters of higher priority, I wanted to give you an update on my forthcoming book, The Bequest. After a number of delays the cover is nearing completion. A good friend and graphic artist has been working on it in his spare time, and what he has shown me so far looks great — much better than anything this art-challenged writer could produce.
Two of the most common questions people have asked me about The Bequest is “what caused you to want to write a book?” and “what’s this book about?” I thought I’d take some blog time to answer those two questions.
As to the first, I’ve actually dabbled in writing for some time and even made money at it, though the writing was a far cry from anything like a novel. That’s when I was in college back in the early 80’s. The college was sponsored by a certain church and I worked in their personal correspondence department, answering by letter questions people sent in about the church and college. After graduating I had a little side business for a time writing resumes.
By the mid-80’s I had convinced myself that writing was something I would never make money at, so I buried the talent in a hole and did little with it. After all, I had to make a living doing real work and I had little confidence that my writing skills, such as they were, could accomplish that end.
Sometime in the early 90’s I read The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings for the first time. It’s remarkable that someone could let the first nearly forty years of his life slip by without having read these amazing works, but somehow I managed to. It wasn’t long before I had many books in the fantasy genre under my belt.
About 15 years ago I became interested in the history of my state of Indiana, especially the time of the roaring 20’s when the Ku Klux Klan heavily influenced Hoosier politics. I became curious how such a thing could happen in our state, so I researched the Klan’s history from its early beginnings in the 1860’s up until the time setting of The Bequest – 1924, when the Klan was at its peak of power, not just in Indiana, but in many other states and into Canada.
As I read about Grand Wizards, Exalted Cyclopes, Grand Dragons, and the rituals of the Klan, an idea for a fantasy story began to take shape. This was around the year 2000 and it was then that I began work on The Bequest. At the time I really had no clue about the kind of discipline required to write a book and so I managed to stretch the process out eight years. But at the end of 2008 the rough draft was finally finished. After much polish, I like to think that, after 12 years, it’s finally ready for public view.
As for the second question, “what’s the book about?”, well here’s the teaser that will most likely accompany the book when it finally goes live on Smashwords and at Amazon:
“In 1924 the Ku Klux Klan is the dominant political and social force in Indiana. Thirteen-year-old Will Moore, whose father is running against a Klan-backed candidate for the district congressional seat, finds himself increasingly at odds with the Klan kids on his street. But Will and his friends put their differences aside when strange things start happening in the neighborhood: odd flapping sounds heard in the sky at night; a woman with snakes for hair prowling the graveyard; the partially burned body of a Klansman discovered near a stagnant pond. Suspicions fall on Angie Hostetler, widow of a fiery anti-Klan preacher, who has her own memories of the post-Civil War Klan, not to mention bookshelves lined with tales of fantasy and magic, and a triple-padlocked, rune-covered chest in her attic.
“Will’s search for the truth behind Angie’s peculiar behavior reveals a murderer – and more truth than he ever bargained for.”
Please keep the book in your prayers. My wife, Billi, and I have one great desire – that God be glorified and honored in whatever this new adventure we are setting out on brings our way.