I began my journey to write a novel by using Ready, Set, Novel. One of the first exercises was to write a list places and things that excite, inspire, or intrigue me. The next step was to pick nine from the list, write them down on scraps of paper and draw them out in groups of three. My three groups were: autopsies, Ozarks, and reading; Chicago, train travel, and cooking; Phoenix in the Spring, detective work, and dancing.
The second group: Chicago, train travel and cooking was the group I selected as that seemed to be closer to my idea of the novel I had been imagining the last several months. In my library of cook books were two books written by James Porterfield entitled Dining by Rail and From the Dining Car. Since I wanted to include recipes in my book I emailed Mr. Porterfield.