The Story of the Story
Guest Post by Brian Meehl, author of You Don't Know About Me
You Don’t Know About Me is a book of fiction about a book that is real and infamous. In 1884, months before Mark Twain published his classic, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, he was reading a non-fiction book, Thirty-three Years Among Our Wild Indians. While reading it, Twain wrote many notes in the margins. He was brainstorming the sequel to Huck Finn, which would tell the story of Huck, Tom, and Jim as they headed into Indian territory for a “howling adventure.” Twain wrote the first nine and half chapters of that story and stopped abruptly, mid-sentence.
While Twain never wrote another word of his planned sequel to Huck Finn, the book in which he mapped out the story in the margins still exists. The book, and his notes, have been closed to the world for 127 years. When I met the man who owns the book, and he shared the story of his rare and precious book, my imagination went to work.
I imagined a modern day treasure hunt for the book. But not any treasure hunt: a quest hunt that would echo the epic journey Huck and Jim take down the Mississippi River in Huck Finn. After all, they were on a treasure hunt too: for freedom. So my modern treasure hunt became the story of a boy’s quest for the invaluable book, and his adventure as he seeks his own freedom.
Thanks, Brian! That's a really interesting back story about your novel.
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