I forgot about The Harrisons altogether after 2012. I struggled at first to do some rewrites that would include new material, but it never took off and eventually the manuscripts just got buried and floated around on file. For 6 years it just vanished. If I did ever stumble on it, I thought, “That’s old now. I don’t think anyone would find it interesting,” and moved on.
When I began going exhaustively through my work, however, I knew the slightly-dreaded moment of at least pretending to look into The Harrisons must come. I didn’t want to fuss with it again and I felt the overall theme, especially the areas about homeschool graduates, didn’t have a lot of potential. But when I opened the story I was shocked. Even though many areas needed smoothing, only a few were really passé.
This was because the characters jumped off the page. I’d created the story because I wanted to see if that old-fashioned kind of novel, with that scope and those many, interlacing, larger-than-life characters could be set in the present day. In the 18th and 19th centuries, readers were excited about realistic, contemporary fiction in a way they’re more typically inspired by sci-fi/fantasy worlds today. In most realistic books today it’s a personal, literary journey for the reader—a consciousness of “Now I read a good, intelligent book or a book about real issues and politics,”—instead of a sense of adventure.
I was curious if writing about modern life in that way was related to that older culture and couldn’t be possible with our current situations. I found that wasn’t true. And the characters of The Harrisons have a reality that’s still there after all this time. I was very startled. Perhaps the story had never been about social situations as much as I’d believed. It had always been about people-- the kind of people who leave an impression on you after the book is closed.
And there will be more updates.
7 books published and 3 more on the way. Farmer's daughter, LOTR fan, loves to read rather than talk about reading. Always has time to finish her WIP.