Hiya, welcome to our first go at a progressive interview. Patty Wysong came up with this neat idea. So, what’s the idea? Well, each author posed a question to a group of writers, which in turn are answered on each author’s blog. Have I got you confused? That’s okay. It happens to the best of us. Anyway, it’s a way to get to know writers, both published and unpublished. Click the links to see the questions asked by the following authors and our answers. And feel free to answer the interview questions in the comments section. So here it is Take Flight’s Progressive Interview.
Question: What’s the most interesting thing you’ve come across in your research?
Diana Lesire Brandmeyer Recently I was able to take a tour of a private homestead and was able to touch 100+ old linens.
Yvonne Blake On the way home to Maine from the FW conference, my husband and I visited an Erie Canal museum in Syracuse, NY. It was so interesting. I learned that when canal boats on the Erie Canal smuggled slaves north, they had to pay for the extra weight in their boats out of their pockets. All of the crew would get off at the weigh locks, but the hidden slaves had to be considered cargo to preserve their secrecy. It made me realize how much these boats owners were risking and sacrificing for the lives of the runaway slaves.
Linda McQuinn Carlblom I learned all about sheep farming, shearing sheep, how the wool is separated, bundled, sold, etc. Very interesting!
Valerie Friesen Comer I discovered Dockside Green, the world’s premiere sustainable residential development in Victoria, BC, Canada–and promptly moved one of my characters into it so I could enjoy it for longer!
Patty Sargent Wysong While researching missions in Ecuador, prior to 1950, I was learning about the train that connected the country from the coastal port of Guayaquil to the capital city of Quito. As the train scaled the mountains, there was a curve that the train couldn’t make called the Nariz del Diablo–the Nose of the Devil. The train would have to go beyond the bend on a spur, then go in reverse to the next curve. The earthquakes destroyed the track in that area, but when I lived in Ecuador I was on the Nariz del Diablo–unfortunately I had the flu and remember nothing about it. The research for that particular book has been so interesting, but it’s so close to my heart (missions and Ecuador) that I can only do a little at a time. I intersperse it with researching drywall stilts and the art of clowing (for an upcoming book) and learning about heavy equipment like track hoes. LoL. It makes for some fun variety!
Joanne Sher I was doing research on Ellis Island for a short story I wanted to write, and I learned some absolutely fascinating facts about Annie Moore, the first person to be checked in there – and a whole rigamarole about her misidentification until just a few years ago. One of these days, I’m writing a book about it. When I’m done with the one I’m working on.
Janet Sketchley This wasn’t story-specific research, but an article I saw and tucked away to use someday… about the blue-ringed octopus. Its poison paralyzes and kills. I got the impression that the victim couldn’t even call out for help. Could be useful for a villain, or for self-defense… Definite fiction fodder.
Donna Winters Yvonne really caught my attention with her comment on the Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse, a place I visited last year while researching my book that comes out June 2 about life on the Erie Canal in 1830. One of the interesting canal facts I learned and included as a story within my story was that the slaves en route to freedom via the canal would often go onto sailboats called “owlers” at Rochester. These were boats that traveled by night carrying illegal cargo. In the case of the Rochester owlers, they headed to Canada with the human cargo seeking freedom.
Kristi Peifer I wrote a short fiction piece on the women’s suffrage movement that was based on true events. I was appalled to find out what kind of atrocities took place right here in America. The right to vote was certainly hard-won for women!
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