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Blog by Ron – Researching Ian

Researching Ian took me down a different road than I have been following. In the past, my research has been primarily looking up facts from online and written resources. That is the normal route to be taken as an author develops his plots.

But my new book, Ian and God’s Providence, requires something more; getting firsthand stories form the very people involved in that day’s activities. This was new, but I dived into it.

Complicating Researching Ian

The primary person to be interviewed was the fact that the primary person being interviewed is a pastor, who was very busy coordinating the Hurricane Relief program that Tri-City took on.  But when I approached him with the idea of a book detailing the Sheppard family’s trial by storm.

Another complication was the need to get the information as soon as possible. This is because stories of disaster usually have only a small window of opportunity to reach the people while they are still interested.

Still another complication to Researching Ian

Each person I contacted I told not to worry about grammar, etc., as I would be editing their contributions, but to write about the events as they remembered them. This is important because it adds the personal, firsthand touch providing the reader with different views of the events.

Everyone was excited about the project and their opportunity to participate. But the complication that arose was the fact that all of them were busy. Ian impacted everyone to the point that there daily routine was now filled with additional work.

More on the other side of this break.

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Now back to the article.

Personal Interview with Pastor Jay

None were busier than Pastor Jay. He still had his daily care of the flock, but he also was the Coordinator of receiving and distributing the supplies that soon were arriving in the church parking lot. This required a great deal of time.

In addition, he was constantly receiving phone calls from pastors around the country who wanted to help. It was an amazing example of the Christian family coming to the aid of other Christians.

Researching Ian Bears Fruit

Pastor Jay finally made the time to sit down and talk with me about the research I had already done, and what he could provide. He graciously discussed all of this, plus he made other suggestions and contributions.

One of the suggestions was for me to contact everyone that was involved and get their own stories. This would provide multiple views of the same events and allow the reader to get a fuller, more personal intake of the events. I recognized the importance right away.

All of this has led to a book that is a personal, and powerful read!


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T&R Independent Bookstore is a division of T&R Independent Books founded in 2014 by R. Frederick and Tess Riddle. TR Ministry, aka Ministry Services, is both a charge and an exciting outreach to the Christian Community.

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