SABINA — Victor Hess’s first novel about eight-year-old Jesse Hall’s adventures in Sabina in 1954 will dredge up familiar images to Sabina residents.
Even though it is a work of fiction, he has included genuine characters such as Eugene, a dead body found in 1929 and displayed through 1964 at the Littleton Funeral Home, waiting for someone to identify him.
“Sabina was a turning point in my life,” said Hess. “Now that I have retired I want to share the memories. ‘Jesse Sings’ started as a memoir but became fiction when I realized it needed to be more interesting. All the characters, except Eugene, are fictional,” Hess said.
This book follows Jesse Hall through his Mom and Dad’s divorce, bouts of homelessness, and to the refuge of Sabina where they find a new life.
“In the 1950s 35 percent of all children under 15 were raised in a single-parent house. Today, 54 percent are raised by a single person or unmarried couple, mostly without a father present. One of the things I wanted the story to show was that children sometimes find the father figure outside the home,” Hess explained.
A second book is in the works that takes Jesse Hall, the main character, to Xenia.
“Jesse Sings” was acknowledged as a finalist in the William Faulkner – William Wisdom Creative Writing competition in 2015. His short stories have received Honorable Mention in a recent Glimmer Train competition and one made the short list for the most recent Faulkner competition.
Hess has been writing for five years and currently working on two more novels centered around Jesse Hall, the main character of his first novel.
Besides a successful businessman he has been an Army Bomb Disposal Instructor, and, for decades, has taught Bible Study for both children and adults. He now lives in Slidell, Louisiana with his wife and dog.
“Jesse Sings” is available at Amazon, on Kindle, and Barnes and Noble.