Yesterday was a full and rewarding day at the SCBWI Keeping It Real Non-Fiction Intensive. There I was able to bask in the wisdom, knowledge, and experience of all of the wonderful speakers. When I started on the journey of writing and illustrating picture books I had absolutely no thoughts about non-fiction. None!
While soaking in all of the information that was shared, I remembered something very long forgotten. I love doing research! That is where a majority of the time is spent for non-fiction writing, even for picture books. Facts are facts and they need to be accurate. In days and jobs gone by, one of my duties involved research. I used to spend hours in the library using their databases to dig up information during those B.I. (Before Internet) days. Just being in a library was a joy for me. While the internet does hold vast riches of information, it is just not the same as excavating book after journal after article to discover the rarest of gems. The stacks, the smells, the enjoyment . . . I really miss those days!
So what do I do about that? A few months ago I started a story about someone in my family tree, but that story is more historical fiction than non-fiction. I guess I will have to start digging to see what can be unearthed about the background story, and perhaps discover some little known facts or people that have a truly interesting and encouraging story that needs telling. On to a new challenge, so . . . let the digging begin!