I’ve read that novels don’t need an introduction, but Beckoning Candle is more than a novel. It is a nonfiction novel because it was inspired by true stories handed down by my ancestors. It depicts real historical figures and actual events woven together with imaginary conversations with the use of the storytelling techniques of fiction. Truman Capote claimed to have invented this genre with his book In Cold Blood in 1965.
In some instances, it’s 100% fiction.
Beckoning Candle is a sweeping family saga that spans four centuries. It is the story of two great nations and my ancestor’s struggle from tyranny—religious and political.
To better understand this saga, it will help if you know a little about my ancestry dating back to 1575.
John Willis and William Bradford were born in England in the 16th century. Both were Separatists because they separated from the Church of England, ruled by a king.
They were later contemporaries in the small village of Plymouth Colony, in the New World—America. They both lived out their lives there. Generations later two of their descendants fell in love! But I’m getting ahead of myself.
To order, learn more about the author, and the characters in Beckoning Candles visit:
I wrote this in my novel Destiny. My opinion has not changed since I was sixteen; in this photo. I grew up on the Old Danbury Road three miles from Angleton, surrounded by the Saltgrass Country, rice-farms, cows, horses, dogs, and various places to hunt and fish! I thought I was in Heaven. My sister hated it. ✯ ✯ ✯ I was once told a story of a woman who wanted to know what her son would become. She put what little money she had on her kitchen table, along with a bottle of liquor and a Bible. As her son approached their home, she hid in a closet. She figured if he took the money, he’d be a gambler; if he drank the whiskey, he’d be a drunkard, and if he picked up the Bible, he might just become a preacher. When the boy saw all this, he picked up the money quickly and stuffed it into his pockets; he then drank the entire bottle of the Devil’s poison; and, finally, he put the Word of God under his right arm and staggered out the door. The mother exclaimed, “Oh, no, a politician.”
The last time I saw Lady Bird Johnson was at the Headliners Club in Austin, Texas. This inscription is on the inside cover of her book, Wildflowers Across America. She had it hand-delivered to me at my home in Austin. The Texas bluebonnets in bloom this month remind me of her.
Note to Randy Willis from three generations of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s family: Lady Bird Johnson, Luci Baines Johnson, and Nicole Nugent Covert.