Most of this past spring, I have been working on publishing and planning my marketing for Taming the Twisted, my book about the fictional Abigail Sinkey, a 17-year old girl who finds herself entangled in abandonment, her parents death, a murder, scandal, and romance after a tornado destroys her town of Camanche, Iowa, on June 3, 1860. I have been working with one of the organizers of Camanche Days, the town’s celebration taking place in mid-August. To give back to the community and get to the book’s roots, I’m officially launching there on August 15th from 2 to 5 p.m. and I’m donating $1 from each book sale (Taming or others) to the cause of the Camanche Days Boards’ choice.
So…I’ve been deep in revising, editing, formatting, and cover designing as well as researching options to figure out the best way to market Taming according to the book itself, its likely readers, my personality, and my goals for the book and my career. It’s a huge undertaking. And the temptation to not work on my next book is great. But I’m excited about starting it so I have been dabbling in research.
So far, I’ve collected several books covering local history from the 1890 to 1910 time period and found several articles about Mississippi River life at the turn of the 20th century, clamming, and insanity, all of which I plan to need for the story with the working title of Shattered Pearl.
I know I still have a ton of research ahead of me, though. I will need to re-read the items I used for Taming the Twisted with a focus on the later time period as well as view microfilm newspapers. I’m also considering a trip to the state historical society library in Iowa City.
I’m excited about it because I do love to research. I’m hoping my schedule works so that I can take a Heuristic Fictional Character Research workshop offered by Midwest Writing Center and Robin Throne of 918studio; I think it will help me greatly in developing Pearl Sinkey. I already found a great resource about the button industry in Muscatine’s History and Industry Center, which has a large history on the button trade on its website.
So until next month, happy summer! If you have any questions, feel free to contact me or put them in the comments section below.