Monthly Archives: January 2011


Frederick Busch said it best: “Research: I love it. It keeps me from having to do the tough work of writing the book.”

I researched topics as varied as the Forest Service’s organizational chart and the historic 1998 fire at Vail for Yard Sale, my first novel.  At every turn, there was something more I had to know before I could put words on paper. Like most writers, I milked that for all it was worth. But finally the day arrived when I knew I was postponing the real work, the tough work, of writing the book.

I find myself in much the same position as 2011 begins. I’ve spent months studying relativity and quantum mechanics. Thanks to my son, Dr. J. Trevor Mendel, I’ve picked up a few basics about dark energy, the mysterious force behind the accelerating expansion of our universe. Shifting gears, I observed three autopsies and talked with cold case detectives at the Sheriff’s Department in Oakland County, Michigan. I am grateful to my friend Jeff Bouchard for those truly memorable opportunities. I even took a defensive handgun course because the new book is a murder mystery, and who knows, gunplay might be involved.

After almost a year of research, I think I’ve postponed the tough work about as long as I can. As I begin putting words on paper, I’ll post monthly updates on my progress. I hope you’ll check in to see how Schrödinger’s cat, dark energy, and a ten-year-old missing person case come together in my new book.

Yard Sale is available at Amazon.