This will be short since I am hiding in the frigid woods of northern Indiana writing and editing with desperation.
Marnell flew to Mississippi this afternoon for his nephew’s wedding – congrats to Jason and Beth! I had a ticket too, but after the flights to and from the Southwest, I did not look forward to hours of nausea and discomfort. Instead, Marnell flew down with his brother, whose wife is also pregnant and also not up to traveling so far.
After dropping Marnell and Russ off at the South Bend airport, I retired to a woodsy Airbnb apartment. We are having some work done on our house tomorrow, so it was a perfect time to escape and try to focus on the adventure series. Also, who wants to be out and about doing things in single digits?
I think it’s fair to say this series is 30 years in the making. I used to tell my brother Terry, Gary, and Larry stories as we did chores. (I think a few times Mom banned storytelling because it made the work take longer!)
Midwestern Adventure Series
The story will be set in the 1980s when we were growing up. Although the boys live in Indiana, I plan to have them visit Illinois, Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin. The characters of the boys are based on my memories of those childhood tales. My current series title is The Brady Street Boys – Midwest Adventures.
Each book will have a fruit of the Spirit theme, as the boys navigate learning what love, joy, and peace mean in the middle of their sometimes frightening or dangerous adventures. This is an old-fashioned story with a fresh twist: the main character, Gary, lost one leg to cancer as a boy, and walks with an artificial leg. (This is not a biography of Marnell’s life!)
Here’s a little blurb to catch you up to date.
Terry, Gary and Larry live in northern Indiana along the St. Joseph’s River, between South Bend and Elkhart. The decade is the 1980s. President Reagan lives in the White House. Cell phones have not yet been invented. Computers have not made their way into every American home. Libraries still use card catalogs.
The three boys love their river. Gary finds comfort on the river, where he can use his upper body strength to row, and almost forget about his wooden leg and lost dreams of being a firefighter. But some days he can’t forget. On one of those days, his mom suggests a visit to the surgeon who amputated his leg. She hopes a thorough explanation of his cancer will bring healing.
Terry, Gary, and Larry keep getting into the middle of mysteries and adventures. But the most important mystery of all seems impossible to solve.
What happened to the surgeon who amputated Gary’s leg, and has now disappeared?
While I am using some real places in the book, parts of the setting will be fictional. I may name the boys’ village Stratford after my hometown in Wisconsin.
Here are the working titles for the first books in the series.
- Book One: The Brady Street Boys – Trapped in the Tunnel
- Book Two: The Brady Street Boys and the International Fugitive
- Book Three: The Brady Street Boys and the Noise Outside the Tent
Adventure Series Timeline
We are hoping to have Book One available by summer or late summer, depending on how complicated Miracle makes things. 🙂 I feel like it’s fitting to switch to children’s stories, all things considered. The goal is to eventually have nine books, one for each fruit of the Spirit. One or two a year is probably the best we will accomplish, although I am working on both Book One and Book Two currently.
I will be giving away a limited number of ebooks to reviewers. Technically you could read the whole series for free! I’ll update more on that later.
One great perk of working in the hospital is that sometimes I get a good idea for the adventure series from one of my patients. People are full of wild stories!
Until then, here’s a sketch from the illustrator, in the spirit of the 1980s.