I took a trip out to Western Maryland on Friday to do some research for Saving Shallmar. I’ve finished the first draft, but I tracked down someone else who lived in the town and took the opportunity to talk to her about what she remembered.

I didn’t expect to hear much new at this point given how much I’ve researched the subject. I guess that’s vanity on my part because I did get some new information and a very different perspective on things from this lady. I’ve got plenty of information to weave into my first draft and some interesting and hilarious stories I’ll have to research for possible articles.

I don’t know why I’m always surprised (happily) when I interview someone and get a lot of new information for a story. That’s why I do the interviews.  Part of me is always looking for more information and part of me seems to think that there isn’t anything new to say.

I’m glad I’m able to fight off that lazy side of myself because my books and articles are much richer because of the research I do and the people who I can speak with. My hope is that people will have a real sense of life in a dying coal mining town in Western Maryland when the book is done.

I just looked at the bibliography for Saving Shallmar. So far, it includes 110 newspaper articles, 11 people who were interviewed, 16 books, 2 journal articles, 28 reports and 12 web sites for 50,000-word book. Those numbers will increase because I’ve still got some loose threads I’m investigating.

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