My book “Mike Stone: Texas Ranger” was centered around the Austin, Texas area, and there was a background story concerning a Texas outlaw named Sam Bass. Bass was famous (maybe infamous) for a large train robbery in Nebraska, among other crimes. The Nebraska train robbery was the largest haul on record at the time, and the robbers basically discovered, by accident, boxes of gold coins sitting on the floor of the express car.

As the story unfolded, I had the villain of the story going slightly north of Austin for a bank robbery. I chose the town of Round Rock as the location for that robbery, since I had passed through Round Rock on a number of occasions. As I wrote the chapter about the Round Rock robbery, I decided to do an internet search on the history of Round Rock, looking for something of interest to tie in with the story.

Much to my surprise, I found that Sam Bass had been killed in a shootout with the Texas Rangers right there in the town of Round Rock! His grave is located there, and the shooting took place just a few years before the time frame of the book. Of course, I quickly wove that into the story. Where would we be without the internet?