Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Keeping Family History Stories Alive through Fiction - Part K - "Dr. Bill" Smith

Keeping Family History Stories Alive through Fiction
Part K - "Dr. Bill" Smith
Romance in Family Saga Stories

Almost by definition, there are some romance elements in family saga stories. Agreed? Hard to get to the second, third and fourth generation without a little romance. And, admit it, we all enjoy a little romance, now and then.

Do you have a favorite family tradition story about a romantic experience of your ancestors? Most of us do. But, do you want to tell that story for the world to know? Perhaps. Perhaps not. One way, of course, to share a great story is to incorporate it in a fictional family saga tale. I’d like to demonstrate with an example… two actually.

My first novel focused on a short few months in the life of a family in turmoil. Getting through that turmoil filled that novel. I followed up with a novella that was a mystery story set immediately following the first novel, using many of the same characters, and adding a couple of key new ones.

For a change in pace, in the second novel, “The Homeplace Revisited,” I focused on two teenagers from the “Back to the Homeplace” novel. They went off to college, and graduate school, and returned to their hometown as an attorney and a veterinarian. Of course I am talk about half-siblings, Christopher Ogden, the attorney, and Jennifer Bevins, the veterinarian.

Christopher concentrated on his undergraduate degree, then law school, then joined his ‘father’ in the small town law practice. Dating and girl-friends were the farthest thing from his focused mind. Until he met Amy one summer day. Suddenly, he had feelings arise in him that he had not experienced in a very long time, if ever. Then, within a week, he also re-met Nicole. They had been in high school together, a year apart, but had never really been close friends. He again had a similar reaction. His head was spinning, to say the least. He began dating each girl. The path he followed is an interesting one. I hope you’ll read “The Homeplace Revisited,” to learn more. He proposed at the end of this novel. We know he married Nicole, in “Christmas at the Homeplace,” but why and how make worthwhile reading. Does it remind you of anyone you know?

Jennifer’s story fits this blog well, of course. As she set up her large animal veterinary practice in her home town, she also began to spend time with her Aunt Karen doing genealogy research on their family. She visited libraries, set up a new computer program (remember PAF?) she just learned of (this was 1996), and is happy to talk about her findings with anyone interested in listening.

At a family gathering, she met the son of a law partner of Christopher and his father. He is a young attorney, and was just beginning to consider the possibility of joining the small town law firm himself. His mother had recently died of breast cancer, and he wanted to know more about her family. This subject came up in their conversation. They now had a connecting common interest, that became a passion for each of them. They traveled to libraries together doing genealogy research, and more, of course. She helped him. He supported her efforts. Did I mention that a romance developed? She got her ring on Christmas Day of 1996 as the third novel,  “Christmas at the Homeplace” concluded.

So, now you know, “Christmas at the Homeplace” is about creating families and homes as well as people “coming home” which is the general theme of the novel. A soldier coming home from a war zone to his family (wife and two young children) certainly has romantic overtones, as well, sticking with our theme for today. His youngest was born after he shipped out nearly a year before. He had not seen her in person yet. It makes a very happy Homecoming, as “Christmas at the Homeplace” concluded. And other story lines, for another time. You may want to read it, as well, as the holidays approach.

P.S. For an independent reader's opinion, see:  http://jaquo.com/william-leverne-smith/

See you next month! I love to read comments, so please leave one or more, including questions. 

Dr. Bill


"Dr. Bill" (Wm. L.) Smith can be found regularly at his genealogy blog, "Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories" <http://drbilltellsancestorstories.blogspot.com/> or his family saga blog, "The Homeplace Saga," <http://thehomeplaceseries.blogspot.com/>. He is an original contributor, as The Heritage Tourist, to the "In-Depth Genealogy" blog with a monthly column in the "Going In-Depth" digi-mag. He also writes a monthly post for the Worldwide Genealogy Blog.

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