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Creating a Family Saga - FS15 - Curating Over 250 Stories for Readers

Updated on August 31, 2018
Homeplace Series profile image

Dr. Bill's first passion is family history. His second is a passion for creating family saga, historical fiction stories that share it.

These stories are about multiple generations of a single family

A Family Tree Sample (unrelated)
A Family Tree Sample (unrelated)

“The Homeplace Saga” Series of Stories

My writings now cover the years 1833 to 2049 in the lives of eight generations of one family, basically in one location in the American Heartland, along with their extended families, friends and neighbors. They are/were/will be just like us. They are easy to read stories that should conjure memories and mental images familiar to most of us.

Home base for this series of family-related, historical fiction stories has been, and continues to be, my home blog found at thehomeplaceseries dot blogspot dot com. As I look for new and more ways to share these many stories with potential readers I have recently come across a useful creator site www dot patreon dot com/HomeplaceSagas that I hope will offer some new opportunities in this regard. While very flexible, I hope to adopt the ‘content library’ approach and use the site to ‘curate,’ that, is to systematically present groups of my stories to a new set of readers in a more readable weekly approach.

HubPages has been great for adding new stories. I have done this regularly. I’m currently writing two new stories a week, one based in the nineteenth century and one in the twentieth century. Occasionally, I add one in the twenty-first century. I will continue to do this. It is the earlier novels, novellas, short story collections and ebooks that I want to make freshly available to readers. They are the heart of the stories I am currently sharing. I hope you will leave a comment or two about your initial reaction to this new approach.

The stories are set in a valley in the southern Missouri Ozarks

A rural landscape
A rural landscape | Source

Curate by Subscription

On one level, Patreon is nothing but a blog. The unique feature however is the revenue stream potential built into the site/software through a tier system to support/sponsor creativity as Patron by regular readers. It is not charity; it is more reminiscent of the patrons supporting Michelangelo, perhaps. Everyone now is accustomed to a $1 a month subscription on their phone for music or videos. This is identical. The tiers are set at whatever level the creator feels is appropriate for what they are offering. Multiple levels, for different levels of content, are available, and expected. I started with the basic, of course. However, I am seriously considering offering the novel content at, perhaps, $2 a month. That content has never been available outside the printed copy or Kindle.

The content is presented in bite-sized pieces, not unlike HubPages. At least, that is the approach I am taking. It will be, essentially, a blog post. But, it will be curated on a meaningful schedule. It will be, essentially, archived so that Patrons who come along later can simply start at their leisure at the beginning, and follow along. I’m a bit uncertain on the feasibility of that one, but look forward to the opportunity to see how it works. I know it will be better organized than my current home base blog. I am hopeful. I hope you will give it a try, and let me know what you think. You can unsubscribe at any time, of course, but I hope you will give it a longer trial, and let me know how I can make it work, for you. I do like the comment provisions. They prominent and they work well. We at HubPages appreciate that as well, of course!

As creator I will know who I am curating for, and can communicate directly with each Patron. That is something I really miss in other venues. It is available here on HubPages and I like that. So, I also like it on Patreon. Come join as a Patron, and we’ll learn and enjoy together.

It was a simpler, but harder, time as they arrived in 1833

A rural landscape, much like the Oak Creek valley
A rural landscape, much like the Oak Creek valley

Identifying Major Segments of “The Homeplace Saga” Stories

In setting about curating the many small pieces of “The Homeplace Saga” series stories, I’ve now come to realize that identifying meaningful segments is essential. I’ve begun with “The Founding” in 1833 as the logical first step. These stories will have begun, for Patrons Only, on Fridays, in Patreon, on August 31, 2018. In the Short Story Collection book, The Founding, Part I, goes to 1850. The next period is identified with the Civil War story of Oak Springs during the 1860s when the community is completely destroyed and the valley returns to nature, with only two locals, a teenager and his grandfather, remaining living in the caves along the ridge. This, along with the return of the settlers to rebuild, is my favorite part of the nineteenth century stories. However, it tends to get lost in all the other details. How to highlight it, and make it available, will be a challenge.

The rebuilding of the town and the surrounding farm community, including the Mill and activity along Oak Creek, run the story to the Centennial in 1876. This is where the Short-Story Collection publication, “American Centennial at the Homeplace: The Founding (1833-1876)” ends, of course. 1876 is the opening of “The Kings of Oak Springs” which began as 80 Hubs (some under Life in Oak Springs). These are now available as four 20 episode ebooks, of course. This series runs to about 1882. Over in the Weston Wagons West stories, also on HubPages, as drbill-wml-smith, rather than homeplaceseries, we have the Lx series of stories about Levi Weston, also a resident of Oak Springs, from 1857 forward. McDonald Tales, in 27 episodes, MTx, are on HubPages and also available in an ebook. Bevins Tales, BTx, is currently running, started in 1882 and is approaching the end of the century. The two current twenty-first century stories are already separate, so those are easy, of course.

The novels start with “Back to the Homeplace,” the original novel that began the whole thing, set in 1987. “Murder by the Homeplace” follows immediately in time. It is a novella. “The Homeplace Revisited” picks up in 1996, nine years after the first novel, with high school characters returning to the valley and Oak Springs as young professionals. “Christmas at the Homeplace” follows in the fall and end of the year 1996. Beginning in January 1997, I wrote monthly reports on the community on the home base blog that take the story into the spring of 1999. The current Heather Gates, (HGx), stories retell from a different perspective the storyline of the novels “The Homeplace Revisited” and “Christmas at the Homeplace.” I anticipate the Heather Gates stories will continue into 1997 and beyond. Along the way, we introduced a character named Raynor Crimmons, who is a professor and the author of a mystery novel, “Murder, He Figured” which is available as a separate novella on Lulu. It was once published on HubPages but has been removed for reasons we don’t need to discuss. ;-) So, to close, there are many parts, but all part of the same set of characters, their ancestors and descendants, spread over parts of three centuries and eight generations, at least. I’ve begun some planning on a set of stories of the first settlers in 1833 before 1833 to demonstrate their motivations for doing what they did then. I will likely add more 2049 stories on Mars with the grandson of a central character introduced in the series in 1996. The family saga continues. Thanks for following and caring.

Video Book Trailer

Video Book Trailer

Video Book Trailer


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    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      23 months ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you, so much, for your visit and comments, Ann. Much appreciated. Actually, it is readers like you that I hoped I might bring on with the Patreon effort. Keep involved, with little time required. Very easy to participate. Studying your ancestors is one of the most rewarding things one can do. It is one of my passions, for sure. My stories are really a tribute to them, and their stories!! ;-)

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      23 months ago from SW England

      I am woefully behind with these series of yours but I hope I can read a few more soon. It's the sort of thing I enjoy but time is even scarcer lately than before. I thought retirement was supposed to be a more leisurely time of life! My sister enjoy finding out about our own ancestors and she has done loads of work on it; it becomes a passion doesn't it? It also gives us a feeling of belonging to a spot along a time line and I like that.

      Patreon sounds like a good idea from your point of view but I am a bit of a luddite where online stuff is concerned and like to stick to what I know - awful for a writer really! However, good luck with that and I hope it works well for you.


    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      23 months ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you, Bill. I has to be a certainly isn't building readership. A few very loyal. Trying the new Patron thing, will see if that reaches any further. Not real optimistic. But, I keep writing my stories. ;-)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      23 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Your passion for this project is obvious. Your attention for detail is admirable. I am, quite frankly, in awe of the work you have done.


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