Jack Canon's American Destiny

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

What Inspired Me to Write My Book by Mike Hartner

In the beginning, there was light... Ok, maybe that’s going back a bit too far.  Seriously, I was writing books about my family’s history, and the adventures of some of my fore-fathers, when I came across one relative in particular that was pretty inspiring.   He had had a full life.  He’d done things with the military, and even more after coming out of the military.  I obtained his service records, and found even more interesting material.  He was, is, a true hero.  Now, there are reasons why I couldn’t write his story, exactly, with his name.   Sensitivities, and security, being what they are.   So, I decided to try and use him for a character in one of my stories under an assumed name.  And give him a ‘Higgins’-esque role (think back on the Magnum,PI series).  That novel was supposed to take place in current day.  Its four main characters were born in the 50s, and the setting was the 1970s.  Higgins at that point would have been mid-50s.

But, the book never quite was able to be perfect.  I’m not saying perfection perfect.  I’m saying good enough to be proud of and publish perfect.  After two years of banging my head against the proverbial wall with edits and scene changes, etc... my editor finally threw up his hands.  He told me that while he didn’t mind too much continuing down the path we were on, that it was a waste of my time and money, and that I should divert my attentions elsewhere for awhile, and return to this manuscript later.  He asked me to research and write one aspect of the story as far back as I could find information on it.

That expose took me about 2 days.  It had two particular characters in it, and both were men in the late 1500s England.  He looked at it and asked me to write the character story for one of the individuals in the short story.  I looked them over again, and decided that while one of those characters was Geoff - Walter’s father - neither of them warranted a full book.   But when I looked more closely at Geoff, I found Walter.  And Walter did warrant a full book.  So, I listened to Walter Crofter as he poured out his auto-biography.  I listened and transcribed as he told of his adventures and his heartaches.  And then I sent it to my editor.   Walter’s autobiography became I, Walter.

I Walter
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Genre – Historical Fiction/ Romance
Rating – PG
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