Sunday, August 9, 2015

My Favorite Haunted Road Trip Project

Periodically someone will ask me what my most and least favorite book projects have been and the answer to both questions is the same: my most recent one.

As contradictory as that might sound it is very true. My latest project is inevitably the one I have been most excited about and engaged with recently, for which the endorphin rushes received from finishing the various elements are most immediate, for which any exciting fieldwork I did is most memorable. That project is also the one for which I have suffered the most recent stress, for which I can most acutely feel physical rigors like lost sleep, for which other things have suffered because of my disproportionate use of time and other resources. This is the strange dichotomy of book authorship.

Its immediacy aside, I can nonetheless say that, of all the projects I have worked on for the America's Haunted Road Trip series of travel guides, Ghosthunting San Antonio, Austin, and Texas Hill Country has definitely been my overall favorite. This is true for a variety of reasons.

One is my love for the American Southwest of which Texas is a part and the unique, violent, and colorful history that makes it such a fun subject for research, writing, and roadtrips and a likely locale for haunted places. Good subject matter counts for a lot.

Another reason is the almost iconic distinctness of the places I selected for inclusion in this book, which include everything from wilderness areas that have existed for time immemorial to ancient missions, grand hotels, and great public buildings. This variety of locales made the book stimulating to work on and that is the sort of thing that translates into a into a more enjoyable experience for readers.

Finally, a big reason is the improvements we have made in the format of this book so that it would be even more useful resource for the people using it as a guide on their own haunted road trips. Foremost among these improvements is a robust section of Additional Haunted Sites, which contains entries on 60 locations and effectively triples the number of places covered in earlier books in the series.

All these things have made not just me feel good about what I have accomplished with Ghosthunting San Antonio, Austin, and Texas Hill Country — they have also made me very confident that the effort I have put into it will make it a valued resource for readers and one of their favorite volumes in the series as well. 

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