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Introduction to Kinfolk

Once upon a time I wanted to write a story that featured Vin Tanner as the primary character - a VinFic, if you will. It was always my intention to only write VinFics in this genre. The first time I sat down with my story idea for The Heart of a Lady, Ezra Standish got in the way. *sigh* But, I got a character named Josie Cavender out of it, so I let it slide. The next time I began a fic with Vin as the main character - Starting Over - Buck Wilmington walked down the aisle of the train and fell for Amelia Eagan. *sigh* And then Chris Larabee entered the picture and it was all over for Vin. He barely made an appearance at all.

Well, at long last and after much struggling with Mr. Tanner, herein lies my VinFic...finally! It took three complete trashings, much beta reading, numerous rewrites and an all-out argument with the tracker himself to make this thing happen, but here 'tis! There are many people to mention first, however. After the initial three attempts, I simply gave up and decided I couldn't really write Vin. I enjoy him most of the Seven, but geez, if he ain't a difficult one to write! And, I finally decided, it's because he doesn't say all that much! And when he does, it means something! I struggled and struggled and made HUGE mistakes then finally, when I completely gave up and told Vin it wasn't happening, well, wouldn't ya know it?! It suddenly fell into place. It took the television miniseries "Joan of Arc" to bring this story to life for me. The relationship between Joan D'Arc and her fiercest advocate, Jean de Metz, put before me the inspiration I was looking for in my own story. I wanted to convey a friendship that holds strong and true despite all circumstances and at all costs. Joan and Jean were the perfect models.

In the long and tedious process of writing Kinfolk, several people gave me invaluable assistance. First, thanks to Jo for showing me that I could explore the man behind the tracker and not get too sappy in the process. Jo took on temporary Muse-ship and without that this fic might never have gotten finished. She's given me a grand new perspective! Secondly, lots of beta people: JudySaks, Debbie (my SisterPard who encouraged me by crying every time she read this story, which was LOTS of times), Michelle of the Jeep addy, KET, my sister-in-sap Kerry {big hugs!} -- all of these guys were enormously helpful in getting me to the heart of this story and making it work. I couldn't have finished it without them. And special, special thanks to Cindy (CLShannon) and KathyB for reworking my JD and Buck scenes, respectively. I lost site of everyone else in this fic outside of Vin, and these two helped me see where I went wrong. And, of course, BJ... truly my biggest fan, whose encouragement to keep going did the trick. Here it FINALLY is!


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