Monday, July 29, 2013

Focusing the Blog

Bob, Joan, and newly found cousin
Since we’re finally finishing up Northkill and rapidly moving toward the release date, I decided to update this blog a bit and remove a few old posts that aren’t relevant anymore or are off topic. In the past I’ve strayed off into other subjects, but from now I plan to focus on the following topics.

  • the process of writing Northkill, the novel by Bob Hostetler and me based on our ancestors’ story
  • updates on the publication and promotion of Northkill that may be of interest to readers
  • facts known about our ancestors who came to this country in 1738 and about the Northkill Amish Mennonite community
  • information about other members of this widespread family, both past and present
  • information shared by the Jacob Hochstetler Family Association
  • spiritual musings related to this story and/or my personal walk with the Lord

I hope this focus will keep the blog more consistent and interesting to readers.

My husband, Jay, and I had a wonderful time at the 2013 Gathering. There was a good turnout, and everyone seemed to enjoy the many interesting workshops, genealogical displays, and expert genealogical assistance, as well as books and other products for sale, including our copies of the Northkill excerpt. We sold out! The photo of Bob and me was taken Saturday afternoon, and of course I forgot to write down the name of the lady with us. I apologize for not identifying her. We had a lovely conversation, and I hope to meet her again at a future event.

Jay and I were delighted to reconnect with a number of family members and meet relatives we weren’t acquainted with before. The warm fellowship was the best part of the event. If you’re a member of the widespread Hochstetler family and haven’t yet attended one of these Gatherings, I encourage you to do so!

In the next few posts, I’m going to share some of the decisions Bob and I were forced to make while writing Northkill and our rationale for the choices we ended up making. When you set a story in a distant period of time, you quickly discover that the historical record leaves many questions. Many facts, especially the small details of daily life, weren’t written down because they were taken for granted and viewed as unimportant. How do you fill in the blanks when writing historical fiction? What were some of the issues Bob and I had to grapple with? Be sure to drop by for the next post and share your ideas and opinions!

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