For those of you who have been waiting... I didn't forget! There really is a paperback version of Forget Me Not, and it's finally here:
While there's nothing quite like holding your very first paperback in your hands, you can bet I still smiled big when I found the proof copy in my mailbox. And when I brought the book (in its package) to the care home where my grandpa's living, one of the caretakers remarked on how I clutched the box close, LOL. What can I say? She's my baby! ;)
If you'd like to see a few more pics and hear me ramble on some more about the paperback, check out Seasons of Humility today. I thought I'd do something a little different here on the series blog, so here are some fun facts about Forget Me Not! (Note that the list includes SPOILERS.)
Forget Me Not Fun Facts
- Annabelle's name (if I'm remembering correctly!) was inspired by this song from Huckleberry Flint. David's real name was inspired by this song by John Denver. (I grew up with John Denver's music, and I think it really fits well with this series - very emotional.) "Casey's Last Ride" brings to mind the scene in Chapter 13 with Sally...
- In the first complete draft, Amos was Sarah Anne's son (thus Elizabeth's "brother") - and he was the one who traveled to Virginia City to attend Elizabeth's wedding instead of Sarah Anne. I agree with my proofreader that it works well motivation-wise for Elizabeth not to have a brother figure/sibling before learning about Jacob, and I do like how it all works out for the "brother" theme, as Amos is the one who talks to David by the grave instead of David's mother. I definitely had to change up the beginning, as I rambled on for a while about David's past and Elizabeth's home life before having the two of them meet up. But I have a special place in my heart for the "first" Amos who loved food, teased Elizabeth, took her shopping, dreamed of working at the livery, and planned on marrying a girl named Daisy. ;)
- Elizabeth was originally supposed to be from Kansas. When editing the manuscript a few months back, I decided to start the story at the river-rescue scene - and in so doing, I was able to cut out the whole stagecoach ride from Kansas to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. I was happy with my Internet research and the new picture I got of the Colorado scenes. I think it simplified things and made events perhaps a bit more plausible. (Although I realize that my stories are still very imaginative!)
- Seth's name used to be John. Actually, that was his name in the first draft of Bleeding Heart, as well. But I had too many J-names (I still kind of do, but I wasn't as willing to change Jacob or Joe or Jack...). My mom suggested Seth, and I think it's perfect for him. Not only did it fit him as the husband of Naomi (who was Jewish), but the name means "placed" or "appointed" (according to Behind the Name). It was the name given to the son Eve bore after Abel was killed by Cain: "And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew" (Genesis 4:25). If you know Seth's story in Bleeding Heart, you understand the significance.
- Like I've said before, there was once a "contemporary" version of Forget Me Not. I feel like I got pretty far along (at least plot-wise), but maybe that was just because I was rather young when I wrote it, and it seemed long, hehe. The basic premise was similar: Elizabeth learned she had a brother she'd never met, and she ran away from home. She meets up with David, who was a drifter, I guess? Like Harry in The Journey of Natty Gann, although I don't think my story was set during the Great Depression, so I'm not sure how that worked! Anyway, I remember that they did make it to Virginia City, whereupon Elizabeth discovered her brother was a drunk. She was devastated, naturally. There was something about her going to church or meeting a preacher, and David being there for her. I *think* I left it at the point where they had to decide where to go from there... I don't think I ever officially finished that version. (We can all breathe a collective sigh of relief, LOL.) I know I lost some of my attempts at writing Forget Me Not (gotta love computers), so I'm not sure if this was a casualty of unrecovered/unsaved documents or if I just gave up and tried a different version. It's kind of all a blur in my mind...
- I took "Novel Writing" in college, and I had some of Forget Me Not done at the time. (I don't think I finished the first draft until the following school year.) But I didn't share any of it in class. Instead, I chose to work on different stories specifically for the course. I just didn't think I could handle my classmates or professor critiquing my baby... I was probably right (for where I was at the time). After all, it took me until just a few month ago to finally edit the manuscript!
Do you enjoy reading "the story behind the story" for books you've read? Is there anything you'd like to know about the writing process for Forget Me Not?