Thanks to a young vaudevillian whose showbiz career began on the eve of the twentieth century, last week I found myself in a small town in the American Midwest I’d never heard of until recently, launching a novel I’d never planned on writing.
By following this young vaudevillian down the rabbit hole a few short years ago and indulging my curiosity, I changed the direction of my writing life, and embarked on writing not only historical fiction, but biographical fiction. Oh yes, and a novel, which was a total change from the short fiction I’d been writing for some years.
At the International Buster Keaton Convention in Muskegon, Michigan last week, I found myself surrounded by a warm and welcoming community of like-minded souls gathered in the place Keaton called home for eight summers of his childhood.
From Muskegon I travelled to Toronto, where I had the privilege of reading three more times to attentive audiences who were keen to learn more about vaudeville and young Buster. Naturally, I obliged them.
I’m thankful to my publisher for their part in all this, and indeed for the gift of this book.
And I’m deeply grateful to the young vaudevillian who started it all.
Myra and Buster Keaton
ca. 1908, Buster age 12 (?)
(Photo fragment from
a very old album