Advance Copy: Backstories on books by NASW members

For this column, NASW book editor Lynne Lamberg asks NASW authors to tell how they came up with the idea for their book, developed a proposal, found an agent and publisher, funded and conducted research, and put the book together. She also asks what they wish they had known before they began working on their book, what they might do differently the next time, and what tips they can offer aspiring authors. She then edits the A part of that Q&A to produce the author reports you see here.

NASW members: Will your book be published soon? Visit to submit your report.

Publication of NASW members' reports in Advance Copy does not constitute NASW's endorsement of their books. NASW welcomes your comments and hopes this column stimulates productive discussions.

Having two children who were picky eaters sparked John McQuaid’s exploration of the history and nature of our gustatory preferences.

Before trying to repair his sailboat, Jonathan Waldman had given little thought to rust. He soon learned why the Pentagon calls rust “the pervasive menace.”

News from Iceland is both cool and hot, as Alexandra Witze discovered while exploring the history and impact of the eruption of the island’s Laki volcano more than 200 years ago.

As genomic science fiction becomes science fact, Dennis Meredith explores in fiction the ramifications of developing genetically engineered pets, including exotic crosses, like cogs, dats, and hamakeets, and an alluring iridescent blue cat.

In the U.S. today, remains of some 40,000 individuals have yet to be identified. In The Skeleton Crew, Deborah Halber explores a subculture of amateur detectives, who strive to solve cold cases. Many do their legwork on the Internet. As one reviewer noted, it’s DIY CSI.

Starting August 30, at the request of his British publisher, David Quammen pulled information on the Ebola virus from his 2012 book, SPILLOVER, edited and rearranged it, and added a new introduction and epilogue to address 2014 events. The result is a concise Ebola information resource for citizens, media professionals, and public officials. “I hadn’t imagined, months earlier,” Quammen writes, “that it was physically possible to shape, print, and publish a book so quickly.”

A close encounter with a sea turtle in 2005 sparked Melissa Gaskill’s interest in protecting this endangered species. Her co-authored book, A World-Wide Travel Guide to Sea Turtles, tells how people can support this goal by volunteering or visiting conservation sites.