Today I have with me the author of Drought, Pam Bachorz
Drought has such an interesting premise. What led you to write this book and what kind of research did you have to do?
As hokey as it sounds, a vision started this story. I was driving along a country road in upstate NY and I passed a dilapidated barn. In a flash, I imagined there was a table in the middle of that barn—with a cup of water in it. A drop of blood fell into that cup. For a long time, I didn’t know whose blood it was, or why it was going in the water. I made a lot of false starts before I got into the story that DROUGHT became.
I knew I wanted to set it in upstate, in the woods where I spent my summers, as a child. I love those woods and have always known they would be the setting of a story, someday. It was fun to include my father's small hometown, too.
I had two different sorts of research: the first was historical and the second was, I suppose, mechanical. For the historical research, I read about life in the rural US in the early 1800s. I also researched what Hoosick Falls was like. For the mechanical research, I did all kinds of strange things. I learned about water cisterns and how many gallons they hold, so I knew how many the Congregation would fill each year. I ran calculations to see how many four-ounce cups it would take to fill those cisterns. I also learned a lot about blood, in the medical sense, although a lot of that research got shelved for this book. I went outside and studied how water ran off the top and bottom of leaves. I love having an excuse to do any sort of strange thing, and claim it's research! (Now I just need to figure out how trapeze school could be research for my NEXT story...)