First Draft Edition of Father of the Grooms Published

Wm. Hovey Smith’s first novel which has the working title of Father of the Grooms was published as a First Draft Edition on the first day of Spring on as an e-book. This novel has the subtitle: Murder, Marriage, and Mafia: An American Family Meets Their Sicilian Cousins which will be the title of the softcover edition. The next stage of this project will be the production of a screenplay, which will be followed by the softcover edition and perhaps ultimately a movie that might be started in 2024.

Writing the novel was a nine-month process following a five-year gestation period and a fact-finding trip to Sicily. Inspiration for the novel followed a chance meeting with a family of Sicilian origin who lived in Louisiana and another family who lived in Mississippi whose sons were having difficulties in getting or staying married. In the novel the fictional family makes a trip to Sicily to reconnect with their heritage after being absent for three generations. Going on the trip are a mother and father, their two sons, sister, and gay uncle.

Over the years the family has kept up a correspondence with the Sicilian side of the family and has been invited to return for a visit many times, but now, it seems, this is the opportune time to go. One of the sons, a Marine Captain, has two months leave, and the other son has returned home after being kicked out of a San Francisco apartment by his girlfriend, and the uncle and sister can leave their hairdressing shop for a week. The father makes a joke that perhaps his sons would do better if they married “the old-fashioned way” with an arranged marriage.

In order to safeguard the lives of two young women, the Sicilian side of the family elects to take this suggestion more seriously. When the Americans arrive on Monday, they are informed that the weddings will take place on Friday. Should they refuse, the entire family might have “an unfortunate accident” while on their tour of the island. A plot is hatched between the uncle and a transplanted Irish priest to create a circumstance where the would-be-brides would call off the wedding. Additional complications arise when another Mafia family makes several attempts to kill one or more members of the family, and members of the Italian Anti-Mafia police and FBI become involved.

The First Draft Edition of the novel has all of the plot elements, settings, and characters needed to craft the screenplay. Writing the screenplay, which is much more dialog driven, will enable the author to refine the dialog, perhaps add segments that are not presently in the novel, and ultimately complete the book at some future date. In the meantime, the First Draft Edition can draw attention to the project.

The book may be ordered from and other e-book retailers worldwide for $4.99. If you do not have an e-book reader, apps will allow you to read the book on any computer or tablet and on many smart phones.

First Draft of Father of the Grooms Completed!

Sign to receive chapters of the new novel, Father of the Grooms, as it is written and have the opportunity to collaborate in the production of the book, screenplay and movie as they are produced. You may participate in this project by providing information and if you have the skills, helping to act in or produce the movie by using the contact block below.

After months of thrashing through my Father of the Grooms book project, it gave me an immense degree of satisfaction when I wrote the words “The End” finally, at long last, on the page. My novel has grown from one word to 325,000 words, which is well and good, but the book is still a long way from being completed to publication standards.

Yet to be done is the sometimes maddening job of going through the entire manuscript word by word and punctuation mark by mark along with items like making sure the characters are consistently referred to throughout the novel and that the elements of the plot and subplots are properly resolved. I do not want a reader who may have self-identified with one of my characters to suddenly discover that his character has somehow disappeared between the pages and is never heard from again.

I best do such reviews by printing out a copy of the manuscript and going through it by reading it line by line while running a straight-edge down the page. This is a slow way to read, but that is exactly the point. This method makes me look at every word, and not only that discover the missing words that should have, but did not, appear in the sentence. Such careful reading also allows a more careful look at the many English homonyms to make sure words like “sense vs. since ” appear in their proper context.

This stage is also typically when footnotes are added which are first positioned where they need to be at the ends of chapters or at the bottom of the pages. Having them at the end is certainly the easiest way to handle them from a mechanical point of view, and these days are the more common way that footnotes are published. Although footnotes loose something of their immediacy of having them at the bottom of a page, as it makes readers turn to the end of the chapter to discover more details about a topic that may have provoked their interest. Increasingly, these are on-line references or perhaps one of my own books or videos.

Once the First Draft corrections are made in the manuscript, I plan to take the unusual step of publishing a First Draft edition of the book as an e-book title. Such a publication will provide several advantages: 1. The draft edition will provide a platform from which to derive a screenplay. 2. This unusual publication will put an inexpensive first-draft novel on the market that can be used as a teaching aid in a novel-writing course, without having the students write their own books, and during editing them during the following semester as is commonly done. Using my First Draft book allow instructors the much easier task of everyone working on one book, rather than on a entire class’ creative compositions. 3. Feedback from readers will allow corrections to scenes and episodes in the book to more nearly reflect real-life places and events.

In approximately two months I expect to have the First Draft Edition of Father of the Grooms available on as an inexpensive e-book. Anyone who makes a significant contribution in upgrading the book to publication-ready status will receive a credit in the book.