What is the Backstory to Legacy?

I never intended to write a book. It just…sort of…happened. 

I sat down one morning to write a simple 6-8 stanza poem as a tribute to a story my father used to tell us.  Like most children, my brothers and I expected our father to tell us a story every night as we drifted off to sleep. One of the hundreds of stories he’d tell featured a little bee who was scared to death…but made brave choices to become a hero.  At the end of the story, Dad would punctuate it with a little phrase that has stuck with me my whole life…he’d say “be noble.” 

Well, eight stanzas grew to eighteen, which grew even more; a chapter was formed. When I presented it to my dad, his eyes widened like I was introducing to him a grandchild… his own flesh and blood.  

For the next few years, we’d form the plot together and I’d write more lines. Every morning I’d send him what I’ve written. And we’d really talk about life’s most meaningful things.  That little poem grew into 30,000 words of easily understood verse and reads just like a story. But not a children’s book.  Truly unique in the world of literature. 

But one morning, the writing stopped.  My blinking cursor was no longer an impatient tapping finger waiting for the next word. It had become a heartbeat of something alive and ready to exist. Legacy was done—14 chapters, punctuated not by ‘the end’ but with ‘be noble.”

I imagine that most authors celebrate when a work is done, but remember, I didn’t set out to be an author. This project was a bridge that connected me with father. When the story was done, it was like the music stopped and the dance ended. Now what?

“Let’s publish it,” he said. My first reaction to that felt like that dream when you show up to high school naked—exposed. The thought of sharing to the public this private thing was like broadcasting my personal prayers. No thank you.

The bridge that Dad and I built didn’t crumble or anything dramatic, but it became a byway that was traveled less. There was a void; we both felt it. Like fathers do, Dad sat me down. And I’ll never forget what he said.  He said, “Michael, what you’ve written, the world needs right now. And the first person who needs it…is you.”  I was scared. I’m still scared.  

Legacy is a book that addresses fear in all it’s many forms, and shows the reader the real meaning of courage.  Because what you choose to do in the growling face of fear, is what writes your Legacy.  So, here I am…at the edge of the unknown…facing insurmountable odds, fighting whispers of self-doubt, just like the little bee in the story.  

My name is Michael Pietrack, and I’m the author of Legacy.  But I need your help to share this magnificent story with the world. Let’s inspire them to be noble in a time the world need it most.  And in doing so, you’ll help me preserve my father’s legacy.

Bookends & Beelore

The Legacy book series is part of a larger canon of historical and holy writings that bees call beelore.  I bet you didn’t know that. 😉 Beelore is written by different individuals throughout time yet make up one historical narrative. 

The bees hand down their history orally to the younger generation, typically by reading to them before they go to sleep each night.  This tradition is a vital practice in the bees’ pursuit of being noble.  When you finally have Legacy in your hands and you’re reading it, you’re going to notice that each chapter begins and ends with an italicized portion that we have nicknamed the Bookends.

The Bookends are an adult bee talking to younger bees before reading a chapter to them.  So, when you’re reading the bookends, remember it’s not me – the author – summarizing each chapter to you – the reader.  It’s the voice of an adult bee emphasizing principles to their children.  So, not only do you get to read a part of beelore by reading Legacy, but you get to see how beelore in inculcated and why the bees are so noble.

In Legacy: The Saga Begins, which is book one of the Legacy series, there is a mystery as to who the narrator is.  Who is the voice of the Bookends?  That is touchingly revealed at the end of the book, and of course, I won’t spoil it for you now.  In the newsletter, I’ll include my favorite bookend, so that you can get a sense of the voice and feel of the bookends. 

I appreciate you taking an interest in Legacy before the book is even out. It’s scheduled to be released in January 2023.  Just like you, I can’t wait either, but we must.  Until then, be noble.

What Does it Mean to Be Noble?

Every day, as we left the house for school, my father would tell his four sons to be noble.  And when ‘be noble’ became the catch phrase of Legacy, David Pietrack knew his sons had been listening.  But what does ‘be noble’ mean?

When Abelbee says the phrase to Ajax, the bat tilts his head in confusion.  Abel explains that ‘be noble’ is how bees say goodbye. Ajax wisely responds:

“It seems it means much more

than a farewell as one walks out the door—

a wise reminder how one is to live.

No finer words in parting could one give.”

Ajax was right. It is much more than a farewell. For my brothers and me, it was a guiding light in all our lives. But being noble has many applications.

For Vallenbee, his choice to live a life of isolation and wait for his love was him being noble.  He showed self-discipline, loyalty, and patience.

For Cimberlee, her choice a life of serving others rather than selfish pursuits showed her noble qualities as well.

For Baldwinbee, being noble was humbly allowing his son to have the spotlight and preparing him to succeed. At the end of the book, Baldwin’s show courage when facing insurmountable odds was being noble in practice.

From Gwendolee, Abel learned tenderness, fellow feeling, and empathy. My favorite definition of empathy is “Your heart in my chest.”  It was this focus on others’ feelings, instilled by his mother, that saved Abel in the cave.

Rykerbee’s self-sacrificing spirit is the epitome of being noble. Noble Rykerbee certainly lived up to the Army Swarm code and the creed, ‘be noble.’

Bees are not the only noble characters in the story. The bat shows kindness and reciprocity. The fireflies caringly show love of neighbor. The squirrels open their home and show hospitality.  The mother deer shows Abel true concern for his safety. The dragonfly shows sincere gratitude. And the eagle lives up to her word.

All these qualities and more are packed in this little two-word phrase. And so, just like my father did, when my girls leave the house, I remind them – be noble.

hardcover version of Legacy by Michael Pietrack

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to get insider information, news and updates about The Legacy Saga.

Please check your inbox for a message from us. Thank you for subscribing!