Oct. 20, 2014

# 4. What I learned while Writing Don Fernando's Family

In Don Fernando, I knew I had a complicated family story that could not be told from a single point of view. At least, I knew I didn’t want to tell it that way. (I had just read Zuckerman’s book based largely on Ken—the POV King—Follett). My family was split between good’uns and bad’uns which required at least two POVs for suspense.  A strong Native American theme combined with the “memory” of one side of the family required another. Don Fernando himself had to grow up in the course of the book (about time, he was 74 when he started), and that put him in the POV category.  That’s enough, I thought.

 You know, best laid plans and all that…. I had a set of adult twins from the oligarch family who became increasingly important. One of them was a morally courageous—if surprisingly irreligious—nun. She ran off with the show. In the end, I became so invested in what happens to her that I knew the reader would also. How she finishes the story could only be told from her perspective. 

As unlikely as it may seem for a story set in what people have called a genocide, I think the oligarch nun and her twin sister capture pathos of that period better than all the others.