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.

Matthew Bettelheim teamed up with illustrator Nicole M. Wong to write a children’s book about the Lange’s metalmark butterfly, an endangered species found only in one California wildlife refuge. In 1999, the peak butterfly count in a single day totaled 2,342; in 2012, the daily count peaked at 32. Writing the book in verse proved challenging, Bettelheim says, as “not much rhymes with ‘metamorphosis.’”

The unearthing in the 1990s of a cemetery for black slaves in New York City prompted curiosity about a little publicized fact of colonial American life, slavery of blacks in the North. A costly study of human remains from the cemetery yielded little useful information, David Zimmerman asserts.

NASW member Steve Nadis and Harvard mathematician Shing-Tung Yau report on the development of novel mathematical concepts at Harvard, and the contribution of Harvard researchers to the shaping of their field.

A passion for biology prompted Teisha Rowland to write on a wide range of biology topics for her local newspaper while still in grad school. Now she’s collected and updated her columns in two books.

Suppose wrinkles in space-time could open gateways to other universes. That’s fantasy, but fun to contemplate, says Dennis Meredith, who explores this premise in his latest novel, Wormholes. Meredith self-published the book in both adult and young adult versions, hoping to tap both markets.

In Astronomy 101, Carolyn Collins Petersen brings the seemingly out-of-reach down to earth, providing basic facts and a contemporary perspective on discoveries about dark matter, the big bang, extraterrestrial life, and more.