Friday, September 16, 2016

A Cold Start

Fractured Families will be published in March and now I'm thinking about my next book. I have not decided on a title.

My mysteries begin with an image. Getting back to Kansas to do the research will be difficult to arrange because it's a long drive. The trip must be arranged before the snow flies. I want to visit one of the "Eight Wonders of Kansas"--the salt museum in Hutchinson. The tour takes vistors 650 feet underground.

There are only two other underground salt museums in the world and they are in Poland and Austria. The underground storage vaults in the Kansas Salt Museum contain millions of priceless documents from all over the world. The original negatives for Gone With the Wind and Ben Hur are stored there along with a vast number of other films.

A great deal of valuable art was stored there during World War II. It's one of the largest bedded salt deposits in the world and is still mined today. Over 500,000 ton of rock salt is removed this year.

Last week I gave a presentation to the Graham County historical society and wanted to continue to Eastern Kansas but had other obligations back here in Colorado. I can find out a lot about the Salt Mine from internet research, but it's no substitute for descending into the shaft and experiencing the icy terror of being hundreds of feet under the ground. Imagine being one of the early miners.

Today it houses an active business that offers impeccable security for data and treasures. Needless to say it offers a level of protection most of us do not need.

I'm going to start my book anyway. After all, it's the story not the background that should be center front. Whatever I write requires rewriting, but the urge to go East is becoming stronger each week. Maybe my Muse is trying to tell me something.


Sybil Johnson said...

That Salt Museum sounds very interesting.

Charlotte Hinger said...

Yes, and there is no substitute for being there. I have to figure something out.

Donis Casey said...

If I had the dough I'd do a lot more in-person research. It does take money, time, and determination.

Charlotte Hinger said...

Donis--yes, no one mentions the expense involved in on the spot research. There would be motels, meals, and gas involved.

Mary Jane Hopper said...

I grew up not far from Hutchnson, Kansas, and never made to the mine. I may have to plan my next reunion trip to include a visit.

Irene Bennett Brown said...

What a fascinating subject to use in a novel! Hope you get to tour the salt mine/museum as needed, Charlotte.