I am rather new to this so please bear with me. I was asked to write an article about my book, REDEMPTION: The Further Adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer. And I will speak of it, but first I’d like to tell you how it came about.
REDEMPTION is my first published book, but not the first book I have written. I have two other books under my belt, a historical novel at 164,000 words and a book of nearly 100 short stories (190,000 words). However, in the publishing business, anything over 80,000 words for a first-time author is heresy. Or so I was told time and time again when I approached an agent for representation. After two years of research and writing, to be told that my efforts were meaningless was somewhat demoralizing to say the least. I mean these rejections were coming from people who had never even read my books. Then I got angry. “So you want an 80,000-word novel?” I said to no one in particular, unless you count my dog, because he was the only one around at the time. Consequently, I decided to show them city slickers that I could write an 80,000-word novel!
I had just finished reading Twain’s Huckleberry Finn for the third time and I started thinking about what ever happened to those boys, Tom and Huck. They must have grown up, but then what? Therefore, I sat down at my computer and banged out REDEMPTION in two months in between writing short stories that I was throwing up on my blog. Within a month, one of the biggest agents in New York told me that he loved it and he suggested a few changes. They were good suggestions and I incorporated about 80% of them into the book. We signed a contract and it was off to the races, or so I thought. But then the real fun began, the serious editing. Seven months later, I gave birth to Huck and Tom as adults. And just for the record, the final word count is 79,914. Oh, and one more thing. After I had signed with my agent, the following week, I received emails from other agents stating they would consider representing me. A month after that, an eBook publisher sent me a contact to sign. Those things were flattering, but my agent believed in the story when all he had to go on was the mess I originally sent him. And last week, he informed me that he was talking with a producer about making REDEMPTION into a movie.
Now, for a little bit about the book itself. There is Tom and Huck of course, but I introduce a new character, The Laramie Kid.
What ever happened to those little boys, Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer? They grew up that’s what. In the spring of 1860, General Beauregard fired on Fort Sumter and the now twenty-four-year-old boys can’t wait to sign up to fight the Yankees.
In the first battle of the war, Tom is wounded and Huck brings him back to Missouri. However, along the way, they run into trouble and Huck ends up saving the life of a sixteen-year-old Yankee soldier who deserts and travels to Missouri with the boys.
Once in Missouri, the Yankee whose name is Jed, leaves for California. A month later Huck and Tom set out for San Francisco where Tom hopes to catch a ship headed for China. Huck goes along to keep Tom company, but plans on returning to Missouri when Tom sails.
Jed never makes it to California; Tom sets sail but never reaches China and Huck never sees Missouri again. Twelve years later, they come together in the town of Redemption Colorado to fight a greedy rancher and his army of hired guns.
They are not boys anymore. They are now men doing what men have to do.
Huck is now a famous lawman; Tom a widower and Jed is the infamous Laramie Kid, a notorious gunfighter.
REDEMPTION is a novel of three intertwined stories that take place between 1860 and 1873. It is a story of growth and learning, a story of change as told through the reminiscences of a sixty-year-old Huck Finn . . . adventure stories that dovetail together for the climax.
That’s about it. For those of you who do read the book, I hope you enjoy it.
By the way, in case you were wondering, I lead a very boring life. I write and that’s about it; and I live aboard a boat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with my dog Danny. Three years ago I woke up one morning and threw my TV out the window, sat down at my computer and started writing … I haven’t seen a television show since, and the only exercise I get is when Danny talks me for my walks. That is my next book incidentally, THE DANNY CHRONICLES: Stories from Danny the Dog’s blog. I have about 40 of them so far with more to come….
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