I began this story in college, submitting 2 chapters for one of my creative writing classes. I remember my classmates being interested in the story, but somehow it never seemed to get off the ground. It’s one of those stories I pull out every now and again and attempt to further, but end up just rewriting what I already have over and over.
This story had two influences: V.C. Andrews and Richard Marx.
In the spirit of V.C. Andrews, I wanted to write an epic sort of story full of family secrets and crumbling houses and incest. All through my teen years I devoured her books despite the similar plotlines across the series. Even though I knew how trashy the books were as I was reading them, I couldn’t seem to stop myself – there was something about those books that always pulled me in.
Richard Marx’s song “Hazard” gave me the plot for such a story: a man wrongly accused of murdering his girlfriend, because the small town minds were already prejudiced against him. In the song, the protagonist claims, “I swear I left her by the river, I swear I left her safe and sound.” The girl may or may not even be dead.
Emerson Family Tree
True to a V.C. Andrews-esque novel, I needed a complex family tree. This is probably not complete until I find a way to make Jack (see Jack Emerson) and Rachel (the girl) related somehow.
John Davidson Emerson m. April Rose Teton
- son: John Davidson Emerson II (d. suicide – shot himself when company went bankrupt)
John Davidson Emerson II m. Victoria Loftus
- daughter: Abigail Emerson
- son: Theodore Cornelius Emerson (d. age 9 from scarlet fever)
John Davidson Emerson II also had an affair with Lucy Bronson, who gave birth to a son, Jack Bronson
Abigail Emerson is raped by Jack Bronson, who died 2 years ago “of his own sin” – possibly Jack Jr. killed him)
- son: Jack Emerson