Forgive me if I look like my mind is elsewhere; I just got back from a research trip to the East Coast, and I'm still more or less lost in the year 1941. This is a great time for me to be diving into research for a new project, because I just turned in a fairly final revision of CLOUD & WALLFISH (the East Berlin novel coming out from Candlewick in 2016). In fact, I started this trip with a couple of days in Boston, where I had the thrill of meeting my Candlewick editors, Kaylan Adair and Allison Cole, in person for the first time. They are just as perceptive and wonderful and kind in real life as they seem in email. I really love all my editors--I feel deeply grateful for the chance to work with such brilliant and dedicated people.
So it was with a light heart (and many pens and notebooks) that I jumped into my tiny little blue rental car and drove up to Maine, the epicenter of my mother's childhood.Although you can find lobster rolls for sale some places, my family's Maine is not the rocky coast the state is so famous for, but rather the rocky farming country inland from Portland. My project this past week was reading through a whole year's worth (1941!) of the local newspaper, which is kept in Hogwarts-sized volumes at the Sanford-Springvale Historical Society.
The thing about this stage of research is that you don't know yet what's going to be valuable for your story and what's just Fool's Gold, like the mica that's everywhere in the Maine woods.
All my novels have required a surprising amount of research. I suspect this must be the case for most writers!
I do wish you joy in your research, in all the times and all the places!