Guest Post on Researching for Heroes of Faith Blog Tour
Writing non-fiction means doing a lot of research, so if you are trying to decide between writing non-fiction or fiction, make sure spending time in libraries is something you enjoy.
For Heroes of Faith, I did most of my research at the Church History Library, the Church Archives, BYU Library, and the library at Utah State University. I also used local libraries. As I was researching, I would often come across other interesting topics and would write them down for ideas for future books. When you research, be sure and keep a file where you can write down your ideas.
Years ago, as I was researching on another topic, I came across amazing stories about angels who came to earth to comfort, inspire, or direct early latter-day Saints. In time, I found enough material to write three books: And There Were Angels Among them, Visits from Beyond the Veil, and By the Ministering of Angels. There were so many experiences that I had to limit them to people who had either seen or heard an angel. So, keep your eye open for ideas for future books.
One thing to remember is that although computer searches are wonderful, they are limited. Make sure you’re using a data base that pulls up information from ALL sources. Don’t just search one collection. Ask a librarian if you’re unsure.
It’s also helpful to type in different words as you search. When I was researching for Gaze Into Heaven, (a book about near-death experiences in early church history), I typed in near-death experiences, then also searched for “heaven,” “Spirit World,” and “next life.” Go through your thesaurus and come up with different words to describe what you are looking for. Also, watch out for hyphens. When I typed near-death and near death, I got different lists.
While on the computer, be sure to check out related subjects—these usually appear either on the side of the computer screen or at the bottom. They may lead to rich new sources of material.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. The people at libraries are happy to assist you. During your first visit, ask them to explain the layout of the library. They will give you great advice. It really helps to get their expertise on how to use the computer to navigate their particular system. Asking for their help will save you a lot of time!
Anyone who writes nonfiction must love to research, and I do. It was wonderful to find and read these inspiring stories in Heroes of Faith. It was a testimony to me that God lives and loves us and that the Church is true. Good luck and happy researching!
Synopsis of Heroes of Faith
Our fast-paced society loves adventure and it loves a hero—but what about Latter-day Saint heroes? Are there any? There are plenty! Heroes of Faith, True Stories of Faith and Courage, is a collection of twenty-four riveting stories about people who rose above difficulties and impossible odds to emerge triumphant. You’ll read about stalwart men and women who stood firm and valiant in the gospel in spite of dangerous mobs, flying bullets, physical handicaps, extreme hardships, and dictatorial regimes. It's fascinating to read about the exploits of real heroes and when that hero is acting in accordance with the principles of the gospel, the adventure is not only thrilling, but inspiring as well. In these days of increasing trials and tribulation, we can all use some worthy role models, especially those that strengthen our faith and increase our testimonies.
Marlene Bateman Sullivan was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in English. She is married to Kelly R. Sullivan and they are the parents of seven children. Her hobbies are gardening, camping, and reading. Marlene has been published extensively in magazines and newspapers and has written a number of non-fiction books, including: Latter-day Saint Heroes and Heroines, And There Were Angels Among Them, Visit’s From Beyond the Veil, By the Ministering of Angels, and Brigham’s Boys. Marlene also wrote the best-selling novel, Light on Fire Island. A busy writer, Marlene is set to have three books published this year. Gaze Into Heaven, a fascinating collection of over 50 documented near-death experiences in early church history, was published earlier this year. Next came Motive for Murder, the first in a mystery series featuring the quirky private eye, Erica Coleman. Then, Heroes of Faith, a collection of stories about people who acted heroically in the face of grave trials and handicaps was released by Cedar Fort Inc.
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/
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Books & Things: http://booksandthings.com/
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