We all have a story to tell but how do you take that personal story and turn it into a book with universal appeal? Research. Not only does research into your subjects and the times they lived in open the door to your own story but gives you insight into what environment they lived in, events that shaped their lives and perhaps even an explanation as to why they went down the road they did. I thought I knew everything about my parents. Research turned rumours into reality and stories into history. I knew my (not dna) father had committed crimes but did not know the extent of those crimes. I was shocked when I found newspaper articles about him as far back as 1928 when he was arrested on suspicion of murder. In another clipping evidence was presented in court that hammered home the reality of what he had been up to. In his crime partner’s pocket was a note that read, “Tiny says be careful”.That sealed the research for me. My dad’s nickname at the carnivals he worked at was Tiny. There was no doubt the article about Ronald Robinson was about my father. It was an interesting journey and I found the best resource was I even found 30 or 40 articles about me or written by me that I had forgotten about. We used to joke about how the Abbotsford/Mission newspapers had a picture of me in the newsroom with a header that read, ‘do not interview this woman , she had had too much press’. It was exciting to see a lot of my accomplishments archived in newspaper articles. It is my legacy, for my grandchildren and great grand children to find out about me. Check it out all you have to do is type in your name or whoever else you want to research . . . it will set you on a new journey. Maybe you will write a book, add colour to a story or poem you wrote, or just remember some of the things that happened in the past that you forgot about. You can get a free two week trial to the site and then it is fairly inexpensive to take out a membership. To be honest all writers should use it for research. You can research a wedding reception from the thirties and it will give you details about the clothes, the music. the food. Obituaries are a good place to start. Start researching, start writing!