…is the title of my second novel, which I have just finished on May 28, 2012. This book required lots more research than my first one, Parisian by Heart, even though, like that novel, it is a work of fiction. But also like that first book, it is based on historical events. In Father We Go, I have written about the early attempts at colonization, from the first failed English attempts at Roanoke to the eventually successful one at Jamestown, to attempts by French Huguenots and the Spanish. The time period spans from the 1500’s and 1600’s to the Depression years to the present, in a bit of time-skipping. The voices of the narrative include colonists, lost and otherwise, a few of the multitudes already living on this coast before the colonists arrived, Native Americans, the man who named Knotts Island, Eleanor Dare’s daughter Agnes, and stones that sing.
Here’s a snippet:
His wife woke again when she heard the trunk open. She got out of the car and walked around to the back. Louis was there, pulling a wire brush out of a toolkit they had back there in the trunk. At his feet on the ground was a dirty brown-ish rock. He gave her a quick look, his eyes shifting away from hers quickly as he bent and picked up the rock and carried it and the brush over to the bank of the river. She stood with her hands on her hips, waiting for him to speak and give her some sort of explanation, but when none came she let her breath out in a whoosh, yanked her purse off the car seat and headed into the woods. Regardless of whatever tomfoolery Louis was up to now, she had to pee. When she came back out of the woods, he was back at the trunk of the car. He’d wrapped the stone in that burlap bag he kept for gathering what he called “specimens” and was placing it carefully in the trunk, making room for it among their one suitcase that they shared, the toolbox, and the other junk he’d picked up on this trip. Well, if he wasn’t going to speak, she was.
“What is that, and what do you think you’re doing with it?”
That glancing look again.
“Can’t look me in the eye, huh?”
Now he turned to look her in the face, his eyes on hers for so long that she almost spoke again before he did. But then he spoke.
“It’s a rock. It’s got some kind of writing on it. I’m taking it because it might have some kind of value, maybe we can find someone who can read the writing. It might be Indian.”
“Louis Hammond, you listen to me. That there rock is a tombstone, and what you’re doing is illegal. You put that rock right back where you found it and let’s get moving.”
“It’s not a gravestone, it’s too small and why would there be a graveyard out here? There’s nothing else out here and there’s no other gravestones.” He slammed the lid of the trunk closed and moved toward the driver’s door and got in. She stared after him for a moment, then went to her side of the car and yanked the door open.
“I’m warning you, Louis, if you take that rock you’re going to be in trouble. If you show it to anyone, they’re going to call the police and you’ll go to jail. And I’ll tell you another thing, I’m not going to get in trouble with you. Do you hear me, Louis?”
She straightened up from settling her purse on the car floor at her feet and looked at Louis. He was just sitting there, staring out the windshield of the car at the river.
“Louis, I said, do you hear me?”
He turned his eyes toward and gave her that long stare again. What is the matter with him? She shivered a little, despite the heat inside the closed car.
“I’m taking the rock and I’m going to find someone who can read it. If you don’t want to do this with me, you can go home, we’ll call your folks next town we get to and get them to cable some money for you to take the train home.”
Now it was her turn to stare at him, her mouth open.
“You would do that? You would send me home and go on without me, over some stupid rock? Why, Louis?”
He looked back at the river and leaned forward to turn the key in the car’s ignition. The car started up but Louis didn’t put it in drive and begin to move. He just sat there, staring at the river.
“Because the rock told me to.”
Now the hard part begins; editing, proofing, formatting…it took us nearly two years to do these things for Parisian by Heart, I hope it won’t take that long for Father We Go!