Research puzzle pieces became the roots of this historical novel. They were the seeds of decades of historical facts that had to be rechecked multiple times to ensure their accuracy. My large manila envelopes became a constant reference regarding Fred’s building.
Year by year, each envelope was filled with tiny and large bits of valuable information I could find easily tucked into their proper envelopes. Edward F. Pickett, the architect, John C. Muessen, the builder, and Evelina Spanner, the building’s first real owner come alive fictitiously on the pages of this book. My readers will learn about their lives in the context of the historical times they lived in.
The hardest part of creating each character took place after I reread inches of truth-based research. Janet and Pat were diligent partners with excellent questions and ideas I could use to explore the unknown. I believe it was Fred’s plea for help that created a constant desire in me find out why I was selected to write his story, before evidence of his existence was gone.
What surprised our research team the most was how vital it was to provide accurate historical information about what life was like for all of the characters in the novel. Over the decades Fred was often a quiet observer without their knowledge. He was only able to communicate via mental telepathy to three people. All of his other tenants in the book were quietly observed and honored while he learned what it was like being human, yet knowing he would never be one. Before I knew it, each character became real, almost like family in my mind’s eye. I feel privileged to have been able to peek into their lives and with Fred’s help, putting puzzle pieces together into a legacy of hope for all generations.