The novel The Ballad of John Hunt won't be available for a while, possibly the end of summer or mid-fall, but I present to you the first three paragraphs of my novel in progress.
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And they all knew that John Hunt, Jr. was the strong one, the one they could all come to when there was trouble or a dispute or if they needed to talk or if they needed the last word in some trouble they were having. John Hunt, Jr., the oldest of the living sons of a man no man had ever called great.
Everyone steered clear of John Hunt, Sr. because of his views and his opinions and his work. His whole life was about his work, never his children. Never his four sons and what they needed from him as a father figure in their life, a guide to keep them on a path to make them men.
The four sons only had each other and they became men in spite of their father. In spite of the man who believed that God had put him on Earth to work and nothing else. In spite of the man who, in the damp and dusty evenings eating dinner by candle light would chastise his sons for not keeping up with the work on the farm. In spite of the one afternoon with the sharp yellow sky when John Hunt, Sr. spun around in fury and smacked his second son, John, Jr. across the face.