Book Cover


1920s & '30s,1960s & '70s

Vickie McGillis

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The Munson Family Journey: A Remarkable True Story about the consequences of teenage pregnancy in the 1960’s, strong family bonds, the struggles of a young, expectant married couple, escaping domestic violence, and the resilience of a single mother committed to giving her children a happy life!


Family, Biographical, Drama, Epic,Domestic violence,Epic,Drama,Biographical,Crime,Religious,Melodrama,Suspense/Thriller,Romance,Other

Short Summary

At a New Year's Eve party in 1962, 17-y/o Katie meets 21-y/o Darren Munson, with whom she falls in love and becomes pregnant. At the insistence of her parents and church, Katie is forced to marry Darren, as her choices were limited. Thus begins her journey as a young mother with an abusive husband.

While Katie prepared for her son's 4th birthday party, her ex-husband Darren plows right through his restraining order, and the driving snow, to bring his son a birthday gift. Unfortunately, Darren's visit only left the mother & son with emotional & physical scars, from which they might never heal.


Southeastern Minnesota

Based on a True Story


Plot - Premise

Overcoming Monster/Villain,,Internal Journey/Rebirth,Tragedy,Other

Plot - Other Elements

Happy Ending, Meaningful Message, Philosophical Questions,Music,Coming of Age,Meaningful Message,Philosophical Questions,Other

Mature Audience Themes

Extreme Violence

Main Character Details

Name: Katie Munson

Age: 17

Gender: Female

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Perseverance, Romantic, Strong Moral Code, Charming, Confident, Empathetic, Insecure, Naive, Desperate, Engaging, Flexible, Honorable, Outspoken, Religious, Selfless, Underdog, Faithful, Funny, Gracious, Obedient, Secretive, Aspiring, Beautiful, Modest,Charming,Complex,Confident,Desperate,Engaging,Faithful,Insecure,Naive,Modest,Obedient,Religious,Selfless,Outspoken,Funny,Romantic

Additional Character Details

Name: Darren

Age: 21

Gender: Male

Role: Antagonist

Key Traits: Charming, Masculine, Romantic, Secretive, Villainous, Aggressive, Insecure, Manipulative, Seductive,Aggressive,Criminal,Engaging,Desperate,Greedy,Masculine,Outspoken,Manipulative,Unapologetic

Additional Character Details

Name: Sally

Age: 50

Gender: Female

Role: mentor

Key Traits: Perseverance, Romantic, Obedient, Charming, Confident, Honorable, Modest, Naive, Selfless, Strong Moral Code, Beautiful, Desperate, Empathetic, Engaging, Faithful, Flexible, Funny, Gracious, Decisive, Religious,Charming,Empathetic,Engaging,Faithful,Flexible,Gracious,Aspiring,Honorable,Modest,Obedient,Religious,Selfless,Funny,Romantic,Visionary

Additional Character Details

Name: Buster

Age: 51

Gender: Male

Role: mentor

Key Traits: Obedient, Perseverance, Sarcastic, Charming, Decisive, Leader, Religious, Confident, Aspiring, Patriotic, Uneducated, Adventurous, Honorable, Masculine, Modest, Strong Moral Code, Heroic, Faithful, Skillful, Underdog, Complex, Funny, Insecure, Lone Wolf, Selfless, Desperate, Outspoken, Flexible, Engaging, Gracious, Romantic, Empathetic,Adventurous,Aspiring,Charming,Complex,Confident,Decisive,Desperate,Empathetic,Engaging,Faithful,Flexible,Gracious,Heroic,Honorable,Underdog,Masculine,Modest,Uneducated,Patriotic,Religious,Selfless,Outspoken,Skillful,Funny,Visionary,Romantic,Lone Wolf

Development Pitch

Detours to the Good Stuff is the first installment in the extraordinary Munson family saga—the epic and gripping true story of a young single mother and her four children as they navigate the river of life, in search of “the good stuff.” Spanning four decades from 1962 to 2002, and facing countless hardships such as domestic abuse, polio, poverty and paralysis, this exhilarating family drama is overflowing with nostalgia, history, music, suspense and shocking events! I grew up watching wholesome TV series like Little House on the Prairie and The Waltons, both of which were produced from stories told by Laura Ingalls Wilder and Earl Hamner. These long-running family dramas took place beginning in the 1870s and ending in the early 1960s, which is where my family’s story begins (including a flashback chapter to the 1920s-1930s, outlining the poignant story of love and hardships experienced by my beloved grandparents). I believe Detours to the Good Stuff would make an excellent television series, encompassing wholesome family values, children coming of age before the age of electronics, and providing an escape from the frightening, lawless, self-centered, hateful, gluttonous society we have become. I believe it’s time for us to get back to the basics of living well, promoting wholesome family values, appreciating and cherishing our loved ones, loving thy neighbor, helping our fellow man, and being there for others, particularly when the going gets tough!

About The Author

Vickie McGillis is a native of Winona, Minnesota. Although this is her debut novel, she is an award-winning published poet, a seasoned medical secretary/transcriptionist, and proud sponsor of various charities to benefit humanity, animal welfare, wildlife and planet conservation.

Target Audiences

Age: 13-17,18-34,35-54,55+

Target Gender: Female Leaning,Universal

Group Specific

Information not completed

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: with a Publisher

Publisher: Outskirts Press, Inc.

Year Published: 2014

Hard Copy Available