Thursday, December 31, 2009
I'm working on my book, Hamden: Tales from the Sleeping Giant, over break. Sitting at my computer for 5-6 hours a day isn't exactly "vacation," but I'll live. I just finished gathering and organizing the photos. Above is a photo that didn't make it into the book - Eli Whitney's blacksmith shop.
Taking thousands and thousands of words of research notes and shaping them into cohesive chapters is certainly a different type of work. My scholarship on Henry Miller (and Sherlock Holmes - I have another essay accepted!) has certainly helped me prepare for this. But it's a combination of that and my travel writing...turning research into something people actually want to read, giving it life, choosing the memorable details, while still staying true to the facts of the situation.
It's a daunting task, and one I take seriously. What is more important to write than history? There is so much revisionist nonsense out there, and I often hear people making the most outrageous claims about history because of it. Only by going back to the primary sources (and sometimes not even then) can you see how these sorts of lies get told over and over. So, keeping to the facts while still making a story that appeals is a fine line to walk. I'll do my best.