Trevetta Wunderlin, chair of the Genealogy Interest Group – Ancestor Trackers, opened our January 20, 2012 meeting by handing out surveys for suggestions for upcoming programs and told us that our former Program Chairman, Don Nores, has health programs. Those of us who knew Don signed a card. Trev introduced Jim Weiss who said that a Civil War Round Table will be starting up at the Tampa Bay History Center this month. Jim also handed out a Call for Submissions for an anthology of written works, art works and photographs to commemorate OLLI-USF’s 20th anniversary. Trev then made announcements about the Florida Genealogical Society and the Pinellas Genealogical Society Seminar.

John C. Miller, OLLI volunteer and groundwater geologist, presented his program “Writing an Historical Novel and Genealogical/Historical Research,” featuring his book, Citrus White Gold: An Alternate History of Citrus County, Florida. John began by explaining how he discovered the ghost town of Mannfield, formerly a phosphate mining town. Phosphate is the “white gold” referred to in the book’s title. John shared with us what went into writing his book and the meaning of “alternate history.” His goal was do accurate historical research and he studied at the local historical society and spent time searching for answers on the internet. He credits the assistance of the Tampa Writers Alliance, keeping a notebook at hand for notes and thanked his outside readers for critiques of his writing. John hired an editor and a graphic artist to help him ready the book for publication, which includes several maps. He recommended beginning by writing summary of your story and said, “Rewrite, rewrite, rewrite.” John told us about the process of self-publishing, his use of the software Create Space and the costs incurred. He finished by explaining the methods of promotion required to sell a book.

Respectfully submitted,

Rosalyn Davenport Gibbs