The Best Kind of Research
I thought the book was finished. Then I met Benjamin E. Beasley.
This is a story about research—not the dusty, academic kind you might expect, but the kind that sparks imagination and brings a book to life.
The book was Night on Fire, my historical novel about the Freedom Riders, a courageous group of young people who, sixty years ago this month, set out by bus from Washington D.C. across the South to test a Supreme Court decision banning racial discrimination in interstate travel.
In working on the book, I had studied the time and place, had created fictional friends Billie Sims and Jarmaine Jones, and had woven a story around the brutal, real-life events of the first Freedom Ride. Then, as I always do, I set out to scout the locations where the story took place.
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More about Night on Fire.