Today I received my very first payment for a novel! This is clearly a mistake, but
there it is.
The new book is called Out of the Shadows, and it would have made a great title
for a sequel to my Wilderness memoir. But it’s not. It’s fiction. Ripped (or gently torn) from the headlines of real life.
OOTS (for short) is the story of a young woman whose father abandoned her when she was a child. Although he promises to keep in touch with her, he never contacts her again. Raised by her bitter mother, who hadn’t a good word to say about the wretched man, the girl grows up despising him. Yet, somewhere in her heart has always been a silent yearning to know him, to have him in her life.
As the story unfolded, I thought of all the children growing up without a father figure in their lives. On one hand, they feel hurt, abandoned by a man who was supposed to love them for ever, to share with them their triumphs, console them in their disasters, and, oh yes, love Mommy. On the other hand, they feel anger and bitterness that he didn’t care enough for them to stay with Mommy. How hard would that have been, after all? Nobody’s perfect.
Most family issues are messy, and generally painful and protracted, often never resolving to the satisfaction of everyone. But writers have the awesome ability, almost god-like, to manipulate circumstances to their liking. So I decided to give it the happy ending I would have liked to have seen in my own life.
Can you blame me?