Monday, October 29, 2012

Chicken Ranch report no. 30

As reports from first readers begin to trickle back to me, I'm encouraged by the fact that overall the response to the Chicken Ranch book is very positive. It's not flawless, mind you, but a couple of the issues raised are easy fixes (if the remaining first readers agree they are issues) and the others amount to repeating quotes and brief passages in multiple chapters. That last part is something that concerned me whilst writing the book, but when juggling so many facts and sources with overlapping timelines, it's almost inevitable that'll happen. Now that these duplications are identified, it should be another easy fix.

Beyond that, I'm still in a "hurry up and wait" relationship with the current potential publisher. The bad news: at this point, there isn't a realistic chance the book will be out by Aug. 1, 2013, the 40th anniversary of the closure. But it's still possible the book will be far enough in the publishing pipeline so that it'll be available for pre-order. That's good. But again, all dependent on the publisher at this point.

More evidence came to me over the weekend that there is continuing demand and interest in this book, aka "Good things come to those who wait." Out of the blue, I received an email from a complete stranger who is a relative of the late Miss Jessie/Faye Stewart. What's more, he has inherited Miss Jessie's personal photo album and additional documents. His wife is in the early stages of putting together a Chicken Ranch cookbook (!) using Miss Jessie's recipes, which I think it pretty cool right there. But of immediate interest is his willingness to share some of those photos with me. I've accumulated a good collection of Chicken Ranch-related photos (mostly through Miss Edna's generosity) but despite my efforts, two major players in the Chicken Ranch history have eluded me: Miss Jessie and Sheriff Will Loessin. I'm excited by the possibility of including Miss Jessie. Amazing how the book continues to grow more complete and exhaustive without my even doing anything! Fingers crossed...

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