The Great Depression. Prohibition. The Dust Bowl. The Second World War. If these events influenced my mother-in-law’s 1939 adventure then they also affected my story. If I wanted to portray the era accurately, I knew research was a necessary ingredient. So it began: googling topics on the internet, reading books purchased or on loan from the library, conducting interviews, taking a horseback riding lesson, roaming the local pioneer cemetery, enrolling in a course in gun safety, peering through the polished windows of vintage automobiles at a collector’s show, and driving the highways that crisscrossed the West when the interstate system was still a twinkle in Eisenhower’s eye. I researched tidbits as my chapters emerged from my head and rolled onto the page. Now I have two large catalogued 3-ring binders of background information supporting my narratives and dialogues. No wonder my college writing teachers said a lot of people talk about writing a book but never do so because it’s too much work – hard work. They’re right. The plot thickens.