This week I completed the initial draft of a new Marienstadt novel called The Legend. It is really a sequel to my 2013 novel The Christmas Daughter and is a little different than my other Marienstadt stories. It is actually something of a mystery featuring the Wilde family who were introduced to readers in The Christmas Daughter. In this story, Boone's older brother, Kit, returns from the Kentucky horse farm where he has worked for a number of years with a terrible story. A lovely woman named Amelia has been boarding her beloved horse, a Friesian stallion named Sultan, at Kit's farm. One day Sultan is removed under strange circumstances and Kit has spent the last few years trying to track him down. He returns to Marienstadt following a lead and also to ask for Boone's help. Thus the adventure begins.
Along the way they encounter a motorcycle gang known as Durga's Dogs, led by an enigmatic Indian-American named Raj Singh. Durga's Dogs are on a mission to break up dogfight rings and to rescue and rehabilitate fight dogs. Let me tell you, this was a tough story to research. I watched a lot of videos that made me sick, but I had to do it.
However, there is another thing that happened writing this book that I did not expect—I realized that Charity, Boone Wilde's daughter, has become a beloved character in my life. I know I get emotionally attached to a lot of my characters but Charity is special.
In The Christmas Daughter, we first see Charity as a shy, frightened, sad little 12 year old. She has been raised by an incompetent, immature, self-centered mother who had no business raising a child. Boone, her father, never knew about her because he and her mother broke up long before she was born. Now her mother is dying and it is up to big, tough, biker-turned-tavern-keeper Boone to go get the girl, bring her home and raise her. It's a tough job—Charity's preferred solution to anything that frightens her is to run away. But Boone rises to the occasion and does an excellent job. By the end of the book, anyone who doesn't love him for his goodness is a mystery to me.
In The Bucktail Cap in the Trunk, we see a much improved Charity going camping for the first time and we can see her life is better than ever before. Now, in The Legend, she is 14 and quite the young lady. She adores her father, is a big help to her grandmother, and has many friends in Marienstadt. It is really quite beautiful to see what a happy, intelligent girl she has become. What I realized, as I wrote the last paragraphs, was that I want to know the rest of her story. I'm going to have to keep writing if I want to know what happens to her as she grows up.
It's kind of fascinating to live with all these people in my life—people that are so much a part of my life. I wonder if other writers go through this. I really have no idea. I don't know, at present, what my next writing project will be but I know that eventually, I'm going to have to return to Marienstadt to check on Charity, and her father, and the rest of her family. They're all part of my family now.
Thanks for reading.