Novel: A River in the Ocean
I originally started thinking about my latest book A River in the Ocean long before my daughter was born. The concept of a man with no child was the original premise. After my daughter was born, it took on a whole new meaning to me.
Her mother and I separated and eventually divorced. During that time, I saw my daughter struggling with the idea of going back and forth between her parents. She was very young at first, so it didn’t bother her then. But, years brought new feelings and when she was four I wrote her a children’s book.
When You Miss Me was originally written on three pieces of paper that were split in thirds. I made an art project out of it, wrote my message for her and shared it with her. She loved it!
But as more years went by, I knew I needed to reach out to my daughter when she started asking the tougher questions. That’s when A River in the Ocean started to breathe new life.
The entire novel is a metaphor for what her and I have been through. But, it’s a story for everyone. When a father is in a near fatal accident, he ends up in a coma for nine years. That provided me with the platform I needed to work through the separation we had felt over the years.
We were never apart for nine years. In fact, we were never apart for more than a few days at a time. But, nine years does symbolize the time from when I put together the original children’s book and when I started taking on the task of writing this novel.
The little girl in the story is raised by a well-intentioned couple who have no idea what they are doing. I made the couple quirky to add some comedy relief. But, it does symbolize what a father goes through when his daughter is with her mother. It’s a natural thought process to wonder is she being fed well, is she being taken care of properly, who is around her…etc. Even when the mother is totally trustworthy, a good father runs through those thoughts.
Chris is the father in the story who winds up with amnesia. He wakes up from his coma not knowing he has a daughter. Beginning his life over with no idea who he is or even what he does, he takes to furniture design and painting. He builds quite the following in the art world. But, a vision begins to appear to him. The vision becomes more real, and he eventually names her “Angel.”
He paints different scenes of her riding her bike in the front yard, dancing in the living room, and looking out the window. Through these paintings, he develops an entire life with a person he doesn’t even know exists. But, he keeps the paintings secret in a private room only he knows.
While she is being raised by a quirky couple, he is living his life alone. Often how a single father feels, that is the main metaphor of the novel. It’s certainly a drama, but there is no lack of comedy when I present interesting situations and work my characters through them.
To give you one last tidbit of interesting trivia, I have a brother who passed away as an infant before I even had a chance to meet him. His name is Christopher Lynn. While Chris in the novel has the full name Chris Ferlin, his daughter is named Krista. Krista Ferlin is named to honor my brother.
A River in the Ocean, thanks for taking the time to learn the deeper thoughts about the novel.
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