What, you might ask, is causing me to spend two hours every evening typing away on my computer?
The Great American Novel!
Okay, okay, I figured you wouldn't fall for that! However, I am writing a novel that is the Great American Novel to me. It is a novel on my great-great-grandfather's life.
We haven't a lot to go on. His father as know it, is another of those whimsical McBean's named William. Family lore says he was a loyalist in the Revolution. After the war, he received land grants at a place called Stoney Creek, which even today is a natural divider between Virginia and West Virginia.
We know that his property was sold off for back taxes because his widow could not afford the taxes in 1805.
We know that his eldest son, John, was placed as an indenture servant in February 1804. So we are "assuming" that he died before then. And in September his son William, my gr-gr-grandfather, was also placed for indenture. On his 12th birthday.
Family lore states that he had a younger brother, Roy, who was indentured with him at the same time. Roy either disappeared or ran away shortly thereafter. He was never heard from again. It is believed there may have been foul play and Roy was killed accidentally.
The novel is being written as fiction. The gaps being filled in by imagination.
I am in hope of finishing it about the first of the year. And so I am making good progress with it, and that my dear friends and family, is where I am hidden each evening. No phone calls will be answered during my writing time!
Do you have your Great American Novel yet inside of you! Explore with it. Perhaps you can write yours completely non-fiction! How great would that be? Unfortunately the family lore has been passed down and I am including that as part of the fiction, since I am unable to prove, or disprove it.
Give it try. I've spent years researching my family. And this is just one of many more books to come.