My First Novel: Katherine and Leeann

An illustration from Melina Druga's first novel

My First Novel: Katherine and Leeann

Angel of Mercy is the first novel I published, but it is not the first novel I wrote.  In the last blog, I introduced you to my early, unpublished work.  Most of it was written while I was in high school, although a few stories were written either earlier or later.

The oldest work is Katherine and Leeann that I wrote in 1989 when I was 10 years old.

Some background on the story:

  • It was written entirely in pencil in a 80 page, coil-less notebook with a pink cover.
  • The story is about two sisters in 1848 Ohio. The story takes place in Roscoe Village, an historic Ohio & Erie Canal town in Coshocton.  I’ve visited the village twice, both times in elementary school, and the visits were the inspiration for the story.  I still have the brochure from that 1989 field trip.  Admission was $5 for adults, and $2.50 for children.  (In 2021, it’s $11 and $7.)
  • The sisters and their siblings were all named after a series of dolls I owned.
  • Unlike my later work, I made very few notes before I began writing.

An Excerpt From My First Short Story

The handwritten manuscript of my first short story
The handwritten manuscript of my first short story

I discovered when going through my notebook that I had written a short story before the main story.  Here is an excerpt of that. The misspellings, grammatical errors, and run-on sentences I left intact.  Hey, I was a 10 year old and wrote like one.  No use copyediting my work.

  1. Moving Away

Boom!  Thunder chashed and rain fell hard on the roof but Ma didn’t mind.  The straw ticks were in.  She, Katherine, 10, and Molly, 8, were scrubbing the bedroom the last room to scrub.  Almost everything was washed or cleaned and placed away in the sitting room.  That week they had been doing nothing but work for they were going west to Tracy, Dakota spend the winter in a hotel and go west and settle up the land by Silver Lake  Pa had rented half a box car for their things he planned to build a tin shop.

The next day was washing day  Thay washed every bit of clothing, curtain and bedding was washed, rinced and hung out in the September 1879 day.

An Excerpt From My First Novel

The 1989 brochure for Roscoe Village
The 1989 brochure for Roscoe Village

Here’s an excerpt from Katherine and Leann, my first novel.  It is told entirely in diary entries, as I explained to “readers. in an introduction.  “This is the diary given to me Katherine Myger by her Ma on Christmas 1847.”

The first entry:

Saturday, December 25, 1847

Dear Diary,

By this time you are now wondering where you are.  You are at my house in Roscoe Village in Ohio.  It’s Christmastide you are a gift from Ma.  I am Katherine Kate Myger a 11 year old third reader.   Well, I must tell you more later.



(Yeah, I know these are badly written, but I still need to say this:  These stories are a work of my imagination and, therefore, is under my copyright.  They cannot be used or shared without my written permission.)

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Melina Druga
Most kids have an active imagination. My imagination has stayed strong into adulthood, and I’ve funneled that creativity into a successful writing career. I write history, both fiction and nonfiction, because although your school history classes may have been boring, the past is not. My goal is to bring the past to life in all its myriad of colors.

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