Author Vella Munn & Her Grandfather Lost!

 

My guest today is Vella Munn, a secular romance author, who has a just published a non-fiction book that’s very dear to her heart. She’s offering am Ebook copy to a commenter. Here’s Vella:

Grandfather Lost–A writer’s gift of love

 As a multi-published writer, I’ve filled out my share of questionnaires and been interviewed a number of times. One question that frequently comes up is, “If you could meet anyone who has ever lived, who would it be?”

I never have to think before answering. It’s always my grandfather, pioneer speculative fiction writer Homer Eon Flint. (To clarify, the family name is Flindt, but Grandpa wrote after World War I when anti-Germanic sentiment ran high, thus he dropped the ‘d’.)

Why a man who died violently and mysteriously at 36 when my mother was six? How many explanations are there? One obvious one is I’m convinced he’s responsible for the gene that makes me crazy unless I’m making up worlds and people. He had the same compulsion, the same need. Ah, the shop talk we could indulge in!

Playing shrink on myself, I grew up without a father. My childhood was love-filled, but there was no father figure in it. Unlike me who dismissed the man who didn’t want me, my mother loved and missed her parent that spilled over to me. She had such wonderful memories of her Daddy. I needed the same. Perhaps in my mind my grandfather became the warm male arms I lacked.

Another reason why this man I never met (at least not in person) means so much is that I’ve become caretaker/safe-guarder of everything that remains of him. Until her death when I was 14, my Nana cherished her husband’s letters to her and hers to him, his manuscripts, and published stories. There were also two newspaper clippings about the investigation into Grandpa’s death. The collection then became my mother’s precious responsibility. (Some letters were in my uncle’s possession). Fast forward to the day my mother broke her pelvis and her independent life ended. I took the collection home with me.

And there it sat. By then my mother, sister, and I had added to the newspaper clippings about the police investigation into his death, and I’d become obsessed with seeking answers. To my delight, the letters between husband and wife were finally all under one roof. Every time I looked at the boxes, unease overtook me. I didn’t want Grandpa’s voice and legacy to die. The mystery of his last day still stalks me. The 90 year old pulp magazines containing his stories were disintegrating. Thanks to some questions and connections, last year I found a safe home for the original publications at the University of Kansas.

To purchase, click Grandfather Lost

As a mostly fiction writer, I was in uncharted territory when it came to writing a biography, but I had no choice. I had so much rich material. So much passion for my legacy. Such a deep need for resolution and an end to the cloud of suspicion about who her husband really was that Nana lived under all her life. I became a detective to the best of my ability and wanted to share what I’d learned. I needed (I still do) help answering lingering questions.

Before electronic publishing became the force it is, I sent query letter after query to nonfiction book publishers. More times than not the editor responded with personal enthusiasm for the biography. Unfortunately, they didn’t believe there’d be wide enough interest among readers. Yes, I was discouraged. Yes, I felt I’d failed Grandpa somehow, but what could I do?

Then thanks to Musa Publisher’s Celina Summers, the stars aligned. She not only had read Grandpa’s stories, she was passionate with them. And about Homer Eon Flint himself. The woman is a force. When she believes in something, she gets behind it with everything in her.

On Sept. 23, 2011 I wrote her, “And how is this for out of left field. My grandfather Homer Eon Flindt (Flint) wrote mostly sci/fi for the early pulp magazines before his mysterious death in 1924 at 36. I have his published stories plus a number of unpublished manuscripts. I’d love to find a readership for those admittedly dated stories along with a segment I’d write about his violent death. I have the newspaper articles about the ‘accident’ investigation as well as hundreds of letters he and Grandma wrote each other when financial necessity separated them during the last year of his life.”

On Sept. 26 she responded, “I have to tell you, too, how excited I and my staff were by your out of left field mention of your grandfather and his stories.  One of the things I’m trying to do at Musa is to bring back the serial story–the way writers used to make good livings writing short fiction or just old-fashioned serials.  We really have been batting around ideas since I got your email.  I would love the opportunity to bring your grandfather’s stories back to the light of day.”

Throwing away much of what I’d written in the original biography, I retooled Grandfather Lost and submitted it. Thanks to the speed of electronic publishing, it is already for sale. (Please see below) In addition Musa is bringing out the bulk of Grandpa’s work both published and unpublished. (Please see www.MusaPublishing.com for details)”–Vella

It’s happening, Grandpa! You would love the electronic age.

http://musapublishing.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=10_19&products_id=331

http://www.amazon.com/Grandfather-Lost-ebook/dp/B008MILVJG/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1346795671&sr=1-1&keywords=Grandfather+Lost

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/grandfather-lost-vella-munn/1112136688?ean=2940014955034

Well, what do you think of that? I’m fascinated and think I will definitely read this story. Now the question to comment on to enter the drawing for an Ebook copy of GRANDFATHER LOST.

Question: Is there a mysterious or unusual story in your family? Why not share it here?–Lyn

PS:-Melissa L. won my slightly read copy of Author Bonnie Leon’s Joy Takes Flight!

      

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About Lyn Cote

Lyn Cote welcomes other authors to her "Strong Women, Brave Stories" blog to share stories of women who triumph over the challenges common to all women.
This entry was posted in Book Giveaway, Interesting History, New Book Release, Non-fiction book, Personal story and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Author Vella Munn & Her Grandfather Lost!

  1. Cheryl Bolen says:

    How many of us would love to do what Vella’s done and dig deeply into an ancestor whose genes make us what we are? Your grandpa would be so proud of you.

  2. Darlene Keith says:

    I would love to win this book and read this story. I am into genealogy and I have a story of how I found a long lost grandfather who died during the civil war and is buried in a national cemetery. No one knew or remembered since or even knew his name for sure. It was a fantastic feeling the day I found his grave and stood there blubbering!!! I know this would be a good read. Blessings!

  3. StrongWomen says:

    All these comments are so interesting. But then families are, arent’ they?

  4. My mother died a few days following surgery a month before my sixth birthday. I would love to see my mother as I have no memory of her. One neat thing happened, the Lord gave me. When I was seventeen I was visiting with a childhood school girl. When we walked in their entry hall, an elderly grandmother was in a wheelchair in the inner room. She heard me laughing and said, “Sally, is here.” “No, Sally died.” “Yes, I can hear her laughter.” Oh, what a blessing that was to me. A gift. Kathleen
    lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net

    • StrongWomen says:

      How touching, Kathleen. You laugh like your grandmother. Isn’t it funny how family traits like this are passed on through the generations?

  5. Phoebe Conn says:

    This is such a wonderful story, Vella.
    We have no mysteries in my family, but my dear mother was the youngest of nine and knew the “truth” about everyone. Her stories made the relatives I didn’t have the chance to meet all the more real to me. These aren’t stories I’d pass on, but I wonder if most families don’t have secrets of one sort or another they’d rather stayed that way.

  6. Vella Munn says:

    Hi folks, I’m sorry I’m not going to be around for the next few days but I’m not. Plans are for me to be back at my computer either Thurs evening or Fri morning. I’m trusting Lyn to make everyone behave in my absence. Please chat among yourselves. I promise to catch up.

  7. Congratulations on the publication of your grandfather’s biography, Vella! What a wonderful tribute to him and his writing.

  8. Betti Mace says:

    My parents were both born in Russia, so there were many stories of what they endured to reach Canada. My paternal grandfather died in Russia and Grandma came with 12 children to Canada. My maternal grandparents both passed away after living in Canada for some years. Unfortunately I never met any of my grandparents. I’m sure the stories of them fleeing Communism would have been incredible!

  9. Matea says:

    That’s so cool!
    No, my family is boring, I didn’t heard of any stories, but who knows…