Almost a year ago I started my Joplin book. I've been slightly surprised at how readily experts in the field share their information. I would say they are EAGER to get their information into the hands of the public.
I put together the foreword, with all the technical meteorological information concerning the Joplin tornado itself. Then I interviewed several survivors and put their stories together. The only thing I lacked was the afterword, and as it required the help of several more experts so that I could include concise information about tornado safety, I put it off. I also still needed to contact the city of Joplin itself, and both of these I figured would be easier when I had a publishing contact that I could wave around and prove my credibility.
Of course, my plans rarely go... as planned. I heard from a publishing company that would like to see the first chapter, but there's a catch: they want me to finish the book first.
So, that's what I've been doing. And you know what? The stuff I put off because I thought it would be hard hasn't been hard at all. Again, I've been pleasantly surprised by the willingness of tornado experts, professors, and forecast meteorologists in sharing their knowledge with me. Not only that, but when I contacted the city of Joplin, they provided me with a map of the tornado and a 45-page PDF with recovery information.
To top it all off, I found one more woman who I'd like to interview and include in my book.
Naturally nothing says this publishing company has to offer me a contract even after I finish the book. But I'm quite happy with how it's turning out. I'm glad they made me finish it. If they don't want it, at least I have a finished product to take elsewhere.