New and Improved

Friends, this is the newer updated blog, different from the old one. The previous blog can be found here:
but I will no longer be posting to it.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Black Plague!

January 11, 2017
Hi, All!
     I suppose it is time for me to give a little information about my next book.  Currently, I'm right in the middle of writing a literary nonfiction account of the last major outbreak of the Black Plague in the U.S.  -- and I'm loving every minute of bringing the story to life.  Oh, it's a gruesome story and quite a medical thriller, but it is also a story that shows a triumph of the human spirit on many levels.  However, on the other side of the coin, the story also illustrates the worst in human behavior, especially when it comes to ethics and fairness. I think readers of all ages and backgrounds will find people they know as they turn the pages of this story -- and may even begin to question some of their own beliefs and values.  
     The background research I had to do to get ready to write this story was also quite interesting and exciting
.  I had to read everything I could get my hands on about the Black Plague.  In doing so, I read about the "symptoms" associated with the plague, and I swear I started feeling like I was coming down with it!  This is why years ago I stopped reading magazines that had stories about different illnesses.  Every time I read a story about *any* illness, the next day I'd swear I was starting to get symptoms!  Once I finally decided I wasn't coming down with Black Plague, I got right back to the keyboard and moved into the story again.  I know, I know -- I'm silly, but when a person digs this deeply into a subject, sometimes the subject comes to life in ways that weren't expected!
     I'm going to attach to this post a picture of a page that will appear right before Chapter 1 in the book.  This is an illustration that was put together by the renowned artist and illustrator Maryana Britt, and I think it will set the perfect tone for the book before readers turn the page to begin Chapter 1.  Many times throughout history, whenever medical outbreaks have happened, children's rhymes have popped up.  Three such rhymes are listed in this illustration, with the last one representing a popular "jump rope rhyme" of the era depicted in my book.  If you get a chance, I'd appreciate it if you could jot me a note and let me know what you think about this illustration.  I'd especially like to know if you believe it has the "creepy factor" that we're striving for in it!
    I hope the new year has started off well for all.  Here's to a happy and healthy 2017 for us all!
    Happy reading!