Those of you who know my work will, I hope, recognize that I have always striven, in my historical novels, to make them as accurate as possible, placing them in a well-reseached setting consistent with the reality of the time and place in which their stories unfolded. To that end I have probably spent as much time in original research as I have in writing. But there's a big difference, I'm learning, between adapting what I've learned about a past time for a work of fiction and specifying and documenting every assertion I make--which is one of the big differences between writing history and writing fiction.
I've just completed the job of revising and footnoting the text of my upcoming nonfiction book Season of Terror. But believe it or not, that was actually the easy part. The toughest job has been ordering period photographs to illustrate the book, obtaining permissions from the copyright holders, captioning the pictures, drawing and captioning maps, and collating the whole magilla into one consistent whole. I'm not complaining about the owners of the photographs or the copyright holders--all have been extremely gracious and timely in responding--it's just that I'm not accustomed to juggling so many pieces of a book at once. I've discovered that I seem to have a sort of dyslexia when it comes to numbering systems--as in numbering the photos and illustrations for publication. Many an hour have I spent peering with wrinkled brow at a series of numerals that looked, for the moment at least, like ancient Scandinavian runes.
But it's all done now--at least until the publisher gets back to me with a list of questions and corrections. I sent the package off Friday and the publisher notified me yesterday that everything had arrived in good order. So at least for the moment I can breathe easily.
Thought I'd tease you with another Colorado photograph: