One of the toughest obstacles I faced writing River of January, was assuming I knew the family story best. These people were real and left a rich paper trail of their dramatic lives. I was lucky enough have recorded interviews, stories graciously shared by family members, and volumes of letters, mementos, and photographs. The internet, too, has been helpful.
Still, I struggled with the presumptuous notion of interpreting Helen and Chum’s lives through my understanding. After agonizing for a good year over the arrogance of committing their lives to paper, I experienced a moment of clarity.
These two deserve to be remembered. If that task was placed in my novice hands, so be it.
I have since spent the last three years learning how to write, because this story must be told, their adventures pieced together into a more coherent picture.
I hope to share more regarding the events that led to this book in future blogs.