Peter Leavell, a 2007 graduate of Boise State University with a degree in history, was the 2011 winner of Christian Writers Guild’s Operation First Novel contest, and 2013 Christian Retailing’s Best award for First-Time Author. Peter and his family live in Boise, Idaho. www.peterleavell.com.
Many Americans deny social classes exist in the United States. Oh, how we fight against the idea that not everyone is equal!
But as writers, we must detach ourselves from culture and look at the bigger picture. No matter what Americans claim, social classes in the United States exist. Some want to climb in social standing, and cannot attain. And there are those who have social standing, and hold it over those who struggle just to survive.
Great novels have a fight between the classes. Inside readers, the struggle between the have and the have nots is compelling, perhaps the most compelling storyline ever written. But Americans refuse to admit social classes exist. Is this why there are so few American literary geniuses that stand the test of time?
Mark Twain made light of the struggles between the African American community and their masters. But easily read between the lines are the struggles that still resonate with readers today.
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is a perfect example that social classes make for a compelling story. Many critics believe this may be the greatest novel ever written.
John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath is a close look at the plight of the working class. Herman Melville’s novel Moby Dick is an incredible snapshot of social classes aboard the ship. William Faulkner’s Snopes Trilogy follows a family’s slow rise in social standing.
A compelling novel includes social injustice. First, admit social classes exist within Amercia, and you’ve gone a long way into making a page-turner! Pull your head out of your culture and take a look around!
With Anna a pawn in the corrupt schemes brewing in the nearby Dakota town, Philip is forced to become a reluctant gunslinger. Will Philip’s uncannily trained horses and unsurpassed sharpshooting skills help him free Anna and find out what really happened to his family out there in the wilderness?