I did visit Oklahoma, but ONLY after I’d written Out of the Dust. It’s peculiar, like looking in a rearview mirror, to have written about the Panhandle first, then visited after.
I created the book by spending a dedicated year researching. It was comforting, when I finally visited that gracious state and its welcoming people, to see I’d come fairly close to getting it “right”. I guess all that research paid off.