Penelope: A Novel of New Amsterdam
I have been fascinated by my ninth great grandmother's survival since the day I read Benedict's 1813 account during my early genealogy searches.
I quickly exhausted the local library's resources and had to wait two decades for Google. I finished my research and began to write Penelope's story.
I thought I knew how to write but novels are quite different from computer programs. Which is why my daughter threw out my first 150 pages--you should be thankful--and told me to join South Carolina Writers Workshop. It took a few years but I finally comprehended "Show, don't tell" and "If you're a good enough writer to get your reader immersed in the novel, then don't do anything to distract her."
Then they paid me to retire and I started building my low-maintenance, low-energy, attractive (my wife insisted on that part), distinctive house in an acre of woods (I hate taking care of grass). My son helped with the framing and I hired a few contractors (like roofing and drywall), but I spent 20 months doing most of the work myself. We moved in (yes, I'm still married) in December 2011 and the house survived Christmas with 3 daughters and their husbands, a son and his girlfriend, and a granddaughter. Plus two dogs and a cat.
Now that's out of the way (except for selling the old house--the plan was the economy would have recovered by now), I am determined to publish the book soon. My third daughter has posed for the cover photo. My first daughter will sell and ship the books through her bookstore (very convenient for me).
After I print 250 copies, I will need to persuade 250 tenth-cousins to order the book so I can print 250 more books and find 300 more tenth-cousins.