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During the past ten years I have written five novels. Instead of confining my writing to a specific genre as many authors have done, I have written about a broad variety of subjects; for instance, my first two novels, Blossoms of Winter and Maiden Harvest are family books. Tom, Dick, and Harriet isa whimsical story about the complications of growing old; Random Reflections is a memoir of my early youth and some short stories and poetry. My latest book, Southern Sanctuary, is an intriguing mystery. When I finished writing the first four novels, the story was complete. There was no need for a sequel; as a result, the conclusive stories offer the reader closure. However, my latest novel, Southern Sanctuary, provided me with an opportunity to expand on the original story. The book is an exciting mystery with many unexpected twists and turns and with an abrupt, unexpected climax.
Whenever many people have really enjoyed reading a novel, they are reluctant to see it end. Their enthusiasm has been aroused by their interest in the story itself, or the author’s way of telling it. Sometimes the descriptive words of the author are so vivid they pull the reader into the story and make him imagine that he is living the experiences of the characters. In such cases, the reader’s imagination either transports him into a world of fantasy, or a different reality. On occasion, he is uplifted by the positive climax of the story. When a writer has the imagination and writing skill to capture and retain the continued loyalty of the reader, he has become a competent, creative author.
When an author feels that his novel is complete, he literally “closes the book” on the story; for he feels that it has reached its finality. Some stories, however, have quick and unexpected endings, especially tales of mystery or violence with abbreviated or shocking climaxes. Because of their abrupt endings, they almost seem incomplete. These stories almost cry out for a sequel—a clarification or continuation of the original book. This establishes a connection between the reader and the author. If the reader likes the first book, he will usually read the sequel with the same curiosity.
This continuation of the original story creates a perfect opportunity for the author to recapture the interest of the reader as he experiences the satisfaction of closure; in addition, the sequel makes the reader hunger for the aftermath of the original story. For the above reasons, I am writing a sequel to my latest novel, Southern Sanctuary. The name of the sequel (my sixth book) will be Southern Storm.
As you know, I have read and helped edit the books with you and my brother. Well...yes. That makes me your daughter. And I could not be more proud of what you have accomplished. I remembered as a child and young adult that you said someday I would like to write a book, but with so many hours of your graphic artistry occupation, your time as a student, your time as a UT instructor, your time as a coach, and your time as a wonderful father who would stop when we needed him, or to guide us and place us on the right track...you had a lot on your plate...so I heard you say, " There just isn't enough time to do it. So, it probably won't happen." Dad, every thing you wanted to do you have done. I know you have a bucket list, but I'm wondering how many more things are left on the list. You have done so many things...very diverse experiences, but many that I hope I can do too, but I'm running out of time to fill your shoes. All the questions I had about the mysteries of life and other usual curiosities I had, it was you who I would go to. Your answers were never cut and dry. You always were honest to say thing like this: "I'm not sure.. but my mother and dad said it was this way.....but then, Shakespeare said 'Life is but a stage...'" and you recited another 30 or so lines. HAHA. Or, you would say, " the Native Americans believe...., and the Muslim culture believes this...." So, I thank you for educating me and opening my mind to the world, even when my questions were things like..." If there is a Santa, how does get to the whole world in one night?'
And this is a good time for this blog. Your traditional Christmas Eve stories that you told to us before bed could never be topped. I remember the plot to them, and I told my own children one of the stories and it took me about 5 minutes to tell one of your hour stories. I just can't capture the details, rising actions, and the best of your abilities- descriptions of people, places, and actions. That would be a good next book for you to consider. A Christmas book with short stories as you told them to us. The world would come to love Little Timmy. I wish I was there this year, but next year Maggie will be well, and I want you to tell us another Christmas tale. As I look back now, those stories were the best part of Christmas.