I take a methodical approach to collecting material, researching, writing, and designing my books. The steps listed below give an overall view of the process.

  1. Initial Consultation
  2. Collecting of Information and Materials: You collect and organize the materials that your family has and give or send original or digitized documents to me.
  3. Generation of Timeline: With the information you give me, I generate a draft timeline of events in the life of the story’s protagonist(s), or add to the timeline you send me. I will send this to you for approval.
  4. Supplemental Research: I research the contexts of the story: details about the geographical setting, the history of the ethnic group, information about the career of the protagonist(s) and how it fits into history, and, where applicable, U.S. and global history that intersects with your family’s story.
  5. Interviews: At this point, I begin interviewing you and, if possible, others. These interviews may be via email, phone, or, where possible, in person.  I will happily send you a transcript of the interviews I conduct with your older family members, if you would like.
  6. Story Outline: I draft an outline of the story and send it to you for your approval. For chapter books, the outline may be quite detailed. At this point, I will ask for a second downpayment to continue to the story-drafting process.
  7. Story Drafting: As I draft the story, I can send you chapters serially, or at the end. You’ll have the opportunity to make changes.
  8. Illustration Selection: Either at this juncture or before, I present you with art samples of the freelance illustrators who work on books with me. You choose how much illustration you would like. All books have illustrated covers, and most have storybook maps.
  9. Art Direction: I provide information and research to the illustrator and direct his/her work.
  10. Book Design and Layout: I custom-design your book, and the front and back covers, using Adobe InDesign, and then lay out the pages. Many books contain a supplemental section in the back that contains photographs and primary source material. I will send you PDF proofs of the entire book. Once you approve of the final product, I invoice you for the remaining cost of the project.
  11. Book Generation: I upload the final, approved files to an online book marketplace, where you and your family members can order as many copies as you like (no minimum order) and have them shipped directly to you.