There are many behind the scenes matters that go into a novel. One such is that I decided to give many of the characters the names of dear friends. I received an e-mail from one. He wrote: Jerred, I am getting close. Great read. I’ve really enjoyed it and will be sorry when I am done. I like your changes. (He had read an earlier draft.) The only thing I would quibble with is that dashing, heroic, charismatic young Kendall Haydon died so soon. I would have liked to have seen him having brandy and a pipe with Holmes and Doyle, et. al. in the parlor. Ah well. The best always die young.
Kendall Haydon is a character in a Chapter Eleven: The Quarry, St. George, and the Angels of the Golden Mist of Salvation and the section entitled “The Valley of the Shadow of Death.”
The Kendall Haydon in real life is known to one and all as Duke Haydon. For many years he wrote a newspaper column under the name of Uncle Duke. That’s what I call him.
I wrote back: Duke, I read your e-mail, and laughed heartily. You are right. He should have had a brighter future. Now that you mention it, I am getting ready to write another WWI novel, this time with the Americans fighting their way through the Hindenburg Line. It wouldn’t hurt to have a soldier named Kendall Haydon as part of the story. And I am definitely planning to have Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes in it. In fact, Doyle was sent as a correspondent, as I have him assigned by Churchill in their meeting. He wrote a lot about the war. It will be part of the reading I do in preparation for the book. Also, I had Holmes go off to Europe as a spy. There is also a Doyle novel in which he has Holmes do this. I need to read that novel, too. You are welcome to join me in reading this material. So Haydon will be in the book. Good idea of yours.
Consider this also as an announcement of the subject of my next novel. Give me a few years and it will be done.