Since then, I’ve written many other short stories. I took every writing class I could in high school. My creative writing teacher said I had a gift. All I knew was that I loved to write! I was going to be a writer! Of course, then came…life.
When I was 20, I moved to Texas with my ex and my oldest daughter. I hated it and I started a journal that I later converted to a book. A few friends read it, but I was young and didn’t pursue it any further. I’d written it on an old word processor, so it’s lost now.
The next 30
years I dedicated to raising my children and working. I still took every
About 10 years ago, I met Liz through our theater group. I was in awe of her knowing her accomplishments as a best-selling author. One day she asked me to write a story for her blog about directing plays. Since she’s been kind enough to let me write several more about: my multiple sclerosis, being in flying trapeze in the circus here, my father-in-law’s death, generation gaps with our children, depression, the death of my daughter’s baby when she was five months pregnant, being a best friend, even our cat’s disappearance for three months before he was found. I think she gave me writing fever again!
As the days of the pandemic went on…and on, I decided to start writing again to pass the time. At first, I wasn’t really serious about it. Yet the more I wrote, the more I liked what I was writing. I kept going. I am beyond thrilled to have had my first REAL novel published just last week. It is fiction with a culmination of my life experiences.
Vex and Valor is the story of two families from different sides of the tracks. Tim and Vee Crawford are the parents of four children who are lifelong residents of Brookton, PA. Georgia and Zeke Hayes struggle to make ends meet after moving four of their seven children there from Tennessee. They become intertwined through the marriage of their two youngest children, Ella Crawford and Ben Hayes.
The story begins with a fight between the married couple. The argument is overheard by their two young children hiding in a closet with their 10-year-old daughter watching through a crack in the closet door. Following the altercation, a neighbor finds Ella unconscious with no witnesses as to what happened to her. And her children are missing.
As Ella fights for her life, the children are found. Both she and Ben’s families gather, all waiting on word of Ella’s condition and looking for answers. Many believe it was an accident, while others, who know Ben drinks too much, think he may have caused this to happen.
The saga begins in 1969 and takes place over three days. We are transcended into the lives of Ella and Ben’s families. The book is written in two sections. The chapters are short, moving from character to character and place to place. In section two, we watch the families become even more entangled and continue to search for answers about Ella. We meet new characters as we see the Crawford and Hayes grandchildren grow into adults, each with their own accomplishments and problems. The story comes to a climax when the truth about Ella is finally revealed.
I’m pleased to say the book is available on Amazon in paperback or eBook. I’ve had a few challenges already. The cover was wrong on the paperback the first time, I found a few typos (that’s what happens when you self-publish, self-edit), and the chapter breaks are off in the eBook. But overall, I’m pleased. In its first week, it has sold better than I expected. Of course, all of my family and friends are the buyers so far. I’m hopeful some of you will check it out too!
The title Vex and Valor comes from the words tormented and fearless. As you meet the characters, you’ll see these attributes in the lead and in many of the characters. I also chose the title hoping to keep the stories of the Hayes and Crawford families going. I’m considering a three book V series to include Vows and Verdicts and Vengeance and Victors.
As a writer, it’s not really about how the book sells, but more of a feeling of accomplishment at its completion, the end product. I had so much fun writing it – I want others to have just as much fun reading it! Thank you, Liz, for letting me share it today with your readers!
Vex and Valor is available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08VTT9174