Every author has a certain “work in progress”—that pet project that sits in a virtual drawer on their hard drive or lurks on dusty and worn pages of multiple notebooks that have accumulated over the years. Even if it’s nothing but a jumble of ideas in an obscure corner in their brain, lurking in the shadows, they know it’s there, and every so often they glance over at it and tell it and the characters within to be patient. You’ll get around to it.
The problem is, the author wants to do their friends justice. They want to ensure the world outside their brains and that within come together in a perfect meeting of the minds—that their reader “gets” it. They’ve only got one shot to make a first impression. It has to be perfect. And, so they dither. Or, they work it . . . and rework it . . . and rework it some more.
In my case, Heirs of Westmark is that project. What started out as a ploy to stave off boredom grew into a multi-generational epic spanning decades, preceding the American Revolution and seeing Bonaparte safely deposited at St. Helena and beyond. Historical fiction is “my thing,” and so the world of Pierpont Durant and Cassandra Sterling is rather expansive. I share it beyond this portal: follow the link to explore the world of Westmark and accumulated material you will never find in the novels . . . when they’re at last good enough to release.
Editor’s note: I originally wrote this blog in June of 2015, and it was posted on the Association of Mormon Letters’ blog “The Dawning of a Brighter Day.” I reposted the article on my pennyfreeman.com website. However, the site imploded for some reason, and everything was lost. Therefore, I am reposting it here, as an example of my writing, but primarily as an explanation of my philosophy.read more
“Tropic of Cancer” by Neve Talbot
My father went to his grave without a word of praise for me falling from his lips. He never truly knew me. Even so, he knew human nature, and therein lay his genius and my downfall.
My father knew the profundity of the fable “Sun and Wind.”
“West End” by Neve Talbot
Theodore Laurence loved Josephine March. That was the cold, hard truth. He had loved her since that first time he laid eyes on her. Sitting at his desk, he had stared out over the hedge, and there she had sat in her attic window next door. Her laughing eyes had reached out and claimed him. His mates all called him Laurie, but she began calling him ‘Teddie’ when he was but sixteen, as if she owned him, and he knew then and there she did.
“Crossroads” by Neve Talbot
Rob understood his brother’s love for the road, especially, as then, in the dead of night. Like himself, Nate had never been one for large crowds. On the road, one was utterly alone. The growling 454 V8 of his brother’s cherry 1977 El Camino Classic and the steel-belted radials humming on the blacktop lulled to silence all the demands that sucked the life out of him. They slipped away like the endless blur of the dotted white line that streamed beyond the windshield.