Friday, May 2, 1-3 p.m., professional researcher and genealogist Rita Ackerman will speak on the topic “Expand Your Research—Expand Your Writing” at the Desert Foothills Library, 38443 N. Schoolhouse Rd., Cave Creek, Ariz. Research adds credibility and professionalism to all types of writing, including historical, fantasy, creative nonfiction, science fiction, memoir and essays. Attendees will learn not only how and where to find the information they need, but handy tips every writer or researcher can use.
Born and raised near Dodge City, Kansas, which was home to a steady stream of popular Westerns in the ’50s and ’60s, Ackerman has the Old West in her blood. After moving to Arizona in 1967 with her family, she earned a bachelor’s degree in social work at Arizona State University, got married and started a family.
Along the way she discovered genealogy and became a professional researcher, instructor and speaker. After she listed her name with the Arizona State Archives, author/publisher Michael M. Hickey contacted her to do research for a book he was working on, later published as “The Death of Warren Baxter Earp: A Closer Look.” That link took her back into the events of the Wild West, where she met the stars of those old Westerns and many of the top authors in the Old West history genre.
A challenge from Mr. Hickey led to the publication of Ackerman’s own book, “O.K. Corral Postscript: The Death of Ike Clanton,” which she is currently updating for a second printing. She has written for Wild West magazine, the journal of the Western Outlaw and Lawmen Association, and is a monthly contributor to the Tombstone Times, a history journal from that famous town.
Past newsletter editor for the Phoenix Writers Club, Ackerman is co-founder of the Writers Inspiration Group, now in its eighth year. In addition, she blogs, writes poetry, reads constantly, paints and does art journaling. “I’m never bored,” she says.
To register for Friday’s event, call (480) 488-2286. Advance registration is required.