Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Behind the Books: Inside Lightning

My third fall title in the Inside series is Inside Lightning. Like its companion titles Inside Volcanoes and Inside Earthquakes, this book had a long and winding path to publication.

Originally, I proposed a book on wildfires. Then the publisher suggested a book on tsunamis instead. But finally, when all three titles became part of the Inside series, we agreed on lighting as a topic. And I’m really happy about that decision.

I’ve never written about lightning before, so I learned a lot during the research process. But my favorite part of the book is an interview I conducted with the two people who brought me into this world—my parents.

When I was just a toddler (and sound asleep), my parents both saw a lightning ball inside out house.

Here’s their story as it appears in the book:
“I saw a bluish-white ball of light float in through the open living room window,” said Dorothy. “It was the size of a basketball, and it blew a light bulb in a nearby lamp. My skin tingled as it slowly drifted to the middle of the room. Then it dropped toward the floor and disappeared.”

Bruce was in the basement. “I saw it come down through the ceiling almost right in front of my face. It didn’t make a hole or burn anything, but it did blow an overhead light. Then it slowly bobbed and floated across the room and faded away.”

Pretty spooky, huh? I wish I had seen it.

Inside Lightning even includes a photo of my parents in front of the house where I grew up. Obviously, that’s my favorite part of the book, but there’s lots of other great stories and information, too. And I really love the cover.

And now the best news of all. Inside Lightning  got a starred review in yesterday's issue of Booklist. Woo-hoo!

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