I must confess I'm pretty pumped up today. My latest writing focus has been narrative nonfiction chapter books so I find my ears perking up whenever anything is mentioned about this particular genre. I've written two manuscripts so far...one about a train and one about a ship...so when I heard about NY best selling author Erik Larson coming to town to give a talk/book signing, I just knew I wanted to be a part of it.
I was really lucky. I managed to grab a front row seat for this event and I go tonight, eager to learn about another author's research and writing process. Mr. Larson's latest book is about the last crossing of the Lusitania and it got me thinking about the research involved in writing such a book. What reference material did he sort through when he was researching this subject? What internet sites might he have visited to help support his story line?
It probably doesn't matter whether you write for an adult audience like Erik Larson, or if you write for the elementary school crowd like I do. Accurate research details and a compelling story is needed no matter what the genre. But where does a kidlit writer begin their research for possible narrative nonfiction story ideas?
Below are just some of the websites I have come across that might be great for generating your next manuscript. Whether you are interested in nature or science, trucks or trains, or even outer space, these sites created with children in mind are a treasure trove of interesting facts to tickle your imagination. I'm going to get the chance tonight to step into the mind of a professional researcher and hopefully learn some new ways to spark my own writing. Maybe you will find some sparks of your own hiding in these sites...