For his latest “Picture Books and Primary Sources” column for Knowledge Quest (a publication of the American Association of School Librarians), Tom Bober interviewed me about my use of primary sources in the creation of All of a Sudden and Forever: Help and Healing After the Oklahoma City Bombing.

In his introduction, Tom wrote, “Those two groups of primary sources that influenced Barton’s story make it a unique approach that leads to a powerful and touching story.”

Here’s an excerpt from our conversation:

How did primary sources help to shape All of a Sudden and Forever?

Instead of having a story and looking for quotes that would support the story that I wanted to tell, getting the interviews helped me figure out what the story was that I was going to tell. … The interviews were crucial to get me to the place where I could start writing. 

Thanks to Tom and the AASL for the opportunity to talk about this book and my process in creating the text.