What does it take to research a book on living in a funeral home? A lot of reading, as it turns out. Unfortunately, because of the increase in our nation’s privacy laws, it’s almost impossible to get a tour of the room where they do the actual embalming–if there’s a body being embalmed, that is. So I settled for reading, reading, and more reading. I also talked briefly to our local mortician, but there comes a point where you stop researching and just jump into the writing.

Specifically, I not only had to learn how to embalm a body, but the ins and outs of the business, and particularly what sort of education would be necessary to become an embalmer. I was fortunate to discover that Karen Watson, one of the editors at Tyndale, actually grew up in a funeral home, so she was full of good stories about living in a small town mortuary.

Once people began to learn that I was writing about a funeral home, morticians came out of the woodwork! We were on a cruise and it turned out that one of our dining companions was a mortician–he told us funny stories all night long, but they didn’t translate so well to the printed page.

Tomorrow: the writing!

BTW, have you noticed that Hurricane Felix is churning around out there in the gulf? Hmmm . . .



  1. Elsi Dodge

    As I was finishing DSLN, I was struck by what the stranger said at the funeral. Later I decided to copy that section in an email to a friend going through a hard situation at home. She emailed me back to say the message was meant specifically for her, at precisely the time I sent it. So, thank you, Angela, for ministering to my friend, and to me.

  2. jan

    yes, i did see that “felix” is churning out there…as a matter of fact, i have just gotten my copy of “the elevator” and i am reading it now. imagine my surprise when i saw “hurricane felix” was on his way to tampa (in the book…) which brings me to my question…did you get the name “felix” from the 2007’s list of hurricane names or was the name just a coincidence?

  3. Angela

    Thank you, Elsi, for that word of encouragement to me and to you friend. And Jan, I did take “Felix” from the 2007 list of names . . . but if he heads toward Tampa Bay, that will be too much coincidence for my comfort!


  4. Kathy

    Funny. I’m staying away from elevators just to be safe!!


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