One of the aspects of writing Children of Eden that I’ve enjoyed the most has been corresponding with people all around the world. On any given day, I never know who will pop up in my e-mail inbox. This has especially been the case since I’ve been posting episodes from the book here on Midatlantic. Just in the last couple of weeks I’ve heard from Celeste in Perth, Western Australia, who is descended from the Polacks (Alexander Salmon’s mother’s family), Itaka in Paris, who is descended from Titaua and John Brander, and Alex Frame in New Zealand who grew up in Tahiti and remembers his parents’ good friend, Turia Salmon (Tati’s granddaughter). It was very gratifying to hear from all of them, a pleasure that never gets old.
I’ve also thoroughly enjoyed corresponding with museums, archives, and libraries all around the world – it never ceases to amaze me how quick and efficient and helpful librarians are. How biographers gathered their material before the Internet I do not know. All I have to do is fire off an e-mail to Sydney or Honolulu or Hamburg, and within hours I get a reply back from across the world telling me what I needed to know. Very often there are documents or pictures attached to the e-mail and it is always a thrill to click on the link and see what emerges. A new face, a new clue, a new part of the story. It’s all part of my quest to get as close to the truth of the lives of the Salmon family as I possibly can. Which of course is no more than they deserve.