In the early morning mist, two dark figures draw nigh one another for mortal combat as each unsheathe glistening blades. Speaking first, the larger man calls, "You're trapped, Vaughn. Tis here your foul legend built on lies and vanity dies. Drop yer sword and I'll give ye a merciful death."
The smaller man grasps his sword, assuming a fighting stance as he calls proudly, "I am Wiley, son of Willard, son of William Henry. Beware the bloody blade of the third son!"
Unfortunately for me in that scenario, my character cannot list a longer lineage, because that's all
I know. That's a sad thing. Old family tales are often either embellished beyond recognition or forgotten altogether. In a few generations, it's easy to forget great-grandfather had a German accent, or that there was Indian blood in the family line. Or the exact opposite can happen. Family tales might add an untrue Irish connection or a fabled branch untimely pruned from a royal tree.
Even as a child I was always deeply interested in where I came from. My paternal grandfather died before I was born from an on the job accident. My maternal grandfather was a coal miner who died when I was very young. In those days, information on my background was hard to come by. Family
history was not written. Beyond slim details given by my mother and grandmother, I had very little information to guide me.
When ancestry.com came on the scene, I was immediately intrigued. If I couldn't know all about
my ancestors, at least I could get a general idea of where I came from and maybe, just maybe, find a few
unknown relatives out there in the world.
As of today, I have around 1300 unknown relatives listed on ancestry.com. Now since I'm unable to
write each of you individually, I'm sending notes on ancestry.com to invite each of you to this website
to meet me. It doesn't take much time, and you have the added bonus of not having to travel across the country, or the world, to say "Hello."
My full name is Wiley Eugene Vaughn. I'm the old guy with the mustache and beard in the skull
tee shirt on the Wiley's Blog page. No, I'm not an ancient outlaw biker. For those who don't know, the skull shirt is from the Punisher comics. As a writer for the Wanderers series of books, I attend comic
and book conventions. You may see me running around the aisles at such conventions, taking photos
or signing autographs. It's what I do when not working as a nurse or as a gunsmith, my two other
means of paying the bills. The writing gig is the most fun. Besides, who ever asks a nurse for an
So what should I tell a relative I'll most likely never meet in this life? Thanks so very much for taking an interest in me, even though I'm not eye candy at this age. You should have seen me when I was a young man. Really. Enough of that. I'd love to see a photo of you, because the ancestry.com photos are extremely small for sixty year old eyes. Feel free to email photos for the website as our Lorefans do. From what I can see on the thumbnails, some of you are quite comely. I consider that
definitive proof of a DNA connection to me.
Read my blogs listed here. Many are based on true incidents in my life and are as good a way to get to know me as any. Besides, do you really want to travel hundreds of miles to hear the same tales you can get online immediately? There. I've saved you untold dollars right there.
I hope you're in good health and enjoying life wherever you are. I also hope you're a Christian,
because this world is bad enough. I'd hate for a relative of mine to go to hell. See John 3:16 in the
Holy Bible if you need to get your soul situation fixed. Honestly, I'm not being smug or judgemental.
If I was still lost, I'd hope someone would point me to Jesus, especially if I might never hear from that person again. Consider yourself pointed.
In deference to my business partners, Colt and Stan, who generously allow me to say almost anything I want in these blogs (especially since they don't read them until they're published) I would
also invite you to visit the Wanderers book portion of the site and pick up a copy. Hey, don't
get upset with me now. All writers have to press folks into buying their books. Besides, when your
friends ask, "So what's the new book about?" Reply, "It's an intriguing sword and sorcery fantasy tale by a distant family member I found on ancestry.com. He's quite talented really. You should read it."
Besides, if the DNA thing is really true, you're keeping the money in the family. How many books
can you buy and still say that honestly?
Again, thanks for thinking of me. I hope to meet you in a better world, someday.