• Anne Royse


I marveled over the years at how my biological father had rallied in prison and pulled the best out of his fellow prisoners. And I never lost my sense of wonder at how beautifully he wrote. One thing that strikes me now is that, surely without any great intention, one of his letters foreshadowed his part in writing this book. He wrote that he had always fantasized about writing “The Great American Novel.”

He wrote (pictured above):

"I think probably I formed a semiconscious bond with the protagonist in most of those stories—the lonely, sensitive soul driven by a romantic idealism to overcome obstacles against all odds—wandering dark streets, searching for The Meaning of Life. A little morbid grandiosity of mind, I’m sure. I do remember that, in high school, I was very taken with Russian literature—especially Dostoevsky—redemption through suffering."

Okay. So I am not going to suggest this is “The Great American Novel,” but . . . it is a book and Ben always fantasized about writing one. Reading those words in his letter thrilled me. I had always dreamed of writing books too. What if we wrote a book together?

Years later, our wish is coming true.

-Anne Royse, Love, Me

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