My second novel was about, an old man named Horace Chance. It was supposed to be the novel that propelled me into fame.
The premise of the story is Horace was originally 115 years-old and deciding on who to vote for in the upcoming 2008 election. First, let me tell you why he was so dang old. I read a story about a lady in France who was 114 and could remember minute details of her life as a child. Thus Horace was hatched. The title is The Last Chance, which means Horace has to lose everybody he loves.
I will condense this story into a short readers digest story. This brought me, my first agent signing. Alas, after a year it couldn't get it sold. So, I changed Horace's age to 108 and made it about survivors of 9-11. That didn't work either. I then added a piece of my Mormon heritage. That hasn't worked.
It is currently shopped out to a Morman publisher, but I ain't holding my breath.
This is another great novel that will probably go unnoticed.
One-hundred and eight-year-old Horace Chance, grants an interview to reminisce about his life to William Jones, a reporter from the prestigious Jeffersonian Magazine, who wants to do a human-interest article about people who have survived the twentieth century.
Horace’s grandfather gambles away the once grand mansion in which he and generations of Chances were born. His father must now find gainful employment for the first time in his life. Robert Chance learns of a position as a lifeguard in a small community in Eastern North Carolina. He secures the position, and in the summer of 1899, he moves him and his family to a no nothing-barren stretch of dunes in North Carolina called Kitty Hawk, where young Horace becomes friends with a pair of shop owners from Ohio, about to make their mark for the ages. After Horace’s father finds a better position as a clerk for the United States Postal Service, so in the spring of 1904 he uproots his family and moves the Nation’s capital, despite the city being full of Yankees. While in Washington D.C. Horace meets lifelong friends and his first two loves, piano and baseball.
Horace excels in both piano and baseball, but the later brings recognition. His hometown team, the Washington Senators, signs eighteen-year-old Horace to a major league contract. Three years later, they trade him to the Boston Red Sox, where he soon becomes friends with a young left-handed pitcher by the name of George Herman Ruth. The war in Europe ends Horace’s baseball career.
After the war, he attends NYU, where meets Angela, his true love. He marries Angela settles down and starts his family. Horace, now faced with the responsibility of raising his family falls back on his second love, playing the piano. He finds employment playing the piano in a Tin Pan Alley restaurant, whose clientele would become iconic legends.
The depression era crushed so many dreams. Horace being no exception, his father loses a vast fortune and takes his life. He loses his loving wife, murdered on the streets of New York City for a loaf of bread. Horace returns to South Carolina, destitute, and broken hearted. It isn’t easy, but he pulls his life back together. His son joins the Navy and is stationed aboard the USS Arizona, a safe distance from the turmoil in Europe. His daughter, blessed with the voice of an angel becomes America’s sweetheart. Her father becomes her pianist.
Horace falls in love with a woman he met in South Carolina. They retire to relative solitude in New York City. However, relative solitude and Horace was not a great mixture. He soon becomes aware of the civil rights indignation suffered by people of color and begins to champion their cause. He stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial where he met a young southern reverend, who has a dream. His life continues to revolve around his family and history.
His life has been full, blessed with fabulous friends, many of which dotted the twentieth-century historical skyline. He faces tragedy. The title of the book The Last Chance is not only the title it defines what he was, Horace indeed the last Chance.
The last Chance: 2008-2017