And Should We Die was drafted and written between October, 1986 to early 1987.
The novel was my creation as someone who grew up inside a mythical reality created by a fundamentalist religion that nevertheless was real to me and framed the only way I knew how to live and be.
A member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I remain a cultural and heritage-based Mormon to the depths of my bones.
For a long time I saw it only as an attempt to write marketable historical fiction; an attempt that accomplished nothing more than to perhaps reveal an aptitude or love for writing.
Although I attempted once or twice to read it to the family, I myself did not sustain that effort. There seemed to be no one else who could or would take the time to read it. The drafts remained in boxes in my home. More recently I attempted to read parts to my wife, Lietta.
Each time certain passages brought tears to my eyes.
I still read this novel with very strong emotions. Now, more than twenty years after it was written, I acknowledge that it represents the essence of how I see myself in terms of ancestry, culture and background.
After learning that my maternal ancestors were actually in the Martin Handcart company it then became personal … a story about the kind of courageous people of whom I am a descendant.
In transcribing this writing from the paper copy which was done with a typewriter I have made a few corrections of grammar, spelling and syntax for clarity purposes (to the degree I am able to do quality proof-reading).
I would not add to, delete or change anything in this material.
It comes directly from my inner world.
It reflects too much to try to change it after the fact.
A.C.R., South Bend Washington, November, 2007