Deb Stone is creating nonfiction about connecting kin.
35

patrons

The reports read: Fatal 90-133921. Deceased is viewed in Trauma Room 1. Body is warm to the touch. Manner of dress: Clothing cut away. No identification found. The body is draped in a white sheet. The head is covered by short, curly, brown hair. The eyes are brown in color. There is a mustache.

My younger brother lay unclaimed in a Texas mortuary for almost a week before the Salvation Army notified police that we were his next of kin. We were lucky. Some families wait years without any word, only to discover their father, sister, cousin, son has been long gone. 

For the last two years, I've been an unpaid, self-appointed volunteer searching for and finding next of kin (NOK) for 70 decedents whose bodies have been unclaimed. I start with their name, date of birth, date of death, and sometimes, a photograph. I scour the internet and public records for clues that lead me to their family. Some of them had poignant or powerful lives. Some lived through important historical events. Some of the things I've learned inspired me. Some broke my heart. All of them helped me understand how intricately connected we all really are.

The Past Remains is my current book project. Each of the twelve chapters tells the story of one person whose body was unclaimed, and whose kin I found. Think of what I do as helping to bring family members closure. Think of what I write as a cross between detective work, true crime, and heartwarming (or heartrending) resolutions.

I need your help. The cases are expensive to work because of the database subscriptions, and the stories are expensive to write because they require records requests. In Florida, a record may be $3, but in Oregon, for example, I've paid $50. Many stories require records from multiple agencies. For some stories, I need to travel to record repositories that require me to review records on site. And then, there's the cost of my time.

Here's the straight scoop: For the price of a Diet Coke, a medium latte, a happy hour drink, a leisurely lunch, or a lavish dinner, you can share in my interesting, exciting, frustrating, and rewarding work. You'll get access to read private Patron-only posts about the work I do, the clues I discover, the connections I make. You'll be virtually there when I resolve a case.

How? 

Just pick the level you'd like at the right: Snoop, Shadow, Bird Dog, Gumshoe, Sleuth, Private Eye, Super Sherlock, or NOK Ninja. Click the button and you're halfway there. Fill out some basic information, and you're done. But wait, there's more! Each level has additional awards.

Since Patreon is designed to build fan support for writers and artists, they don't offer an option for one-time payments. If you'd like to contribute once, you can sign up for one month, then cancel after the first payment. You are never committed to a particular length of time when you sign up as a subscriber, but I hope you'll want to stay around.

Please join me as I write the stories I discover in my search for next of kin.
Tiers
Snoop
$2 or more per month
You're a natural born skeptic, but still, you're curious. Who does she write about? Why should I care ? How will my support help?

Includes
  • Personalized thank you postcard mailed to you.
  • You can post questions. I'll answer, natch!
  • You totally get to snoop around in all my Patron-only posts.
Shadow
$5 or more per month
You hang back and take stock before jumping in. You gotta know stuff, but you keep it on the down low. 

Includes
  • Personalized thank you postcard mailed to you.
  • You can post questions. I'll answer, natch!
  • You totally get to snoop around in all my Patron-only posts.
  • You'll get a personalized postcard with an excerpt from a case.
  • You'll get a 5% discount on family research projects.
Bird Dog
$10 or more per month
You've got a nose for story. You're persistent on a trail and loyal as a friend. 

Includes
  • Personalized thank you postcard mailed to you.
  • You can post questions. I'll answer, natch!
  • You totally get to snoop around in all my Patron-only posts.
  • You'll get a personalized postcard with an excerpt from a case.
  • Top Ten Tips to find friends or family emailed to your inbox.
  • You'll get a 10% discount on family research projects.
Gumshoe
$15 or more per month
You're stealthy and sly. You know a good character when you read one, and when you meet one. 

Includes
  • Personalized thank you postcard mailed to you.
  • You totally get to snoop around in all my Patron-only posts.
  • You'll get a personalized postcard with an excerpt from a case.
  • Top Ten Tips to find friends or family emailed to your inbox.
  • You can ask questions by private message. I'll whisper back.
  • You'll get a 15% discount on family research projects.
Sleuth
$20 or more per month
You fancy yourself a bit of a detective. You like to know the how, what, when,  and why for yourself. You like to get the inside story before everyone else. 

Includes
  • Personalized thank you postcard mailed to you.
  • You totally get to snoop around in all my Patron-only posts.
  • You'll get a personalized postcard with an excerpt from a case.
  • You can ask questions by private message. I'll whisper back.
  •  Top Ten Tips to find friends or family emailed to your inbox.
  • You'll get a 20% discount on family research projects.
Private Eye
$25 or more per month
You're all about the investigation it takes to find next of kin, and the stories that come from that process. 

Includes
  • Personalized thank you postcard mailed to you.
  • You totally get to snoop around in all my Patron-only posts.
  • You'll get a personalized postcard with an excerpt from a case.
  • You can ask questions by private message. I'll whisper back. 
  • Top Ten Tips to find friends or family emailed to your inbox.
  • You'll get a 25% discount on family research projects.
Super Sherlock
$50 or more per month
You're a lean, mean detection machine. You always figure out the story before the end.

Includes
  • You totally get to snoop around in all my Patron-only posts.
  • Top Ten Tips to find friends or family emailed to your inbox.
  • You can ask questions by private message. I'll whisper back. 
  • Top Ten Tips to find friends or family emailed to your inbox.
  • You get ONE FREE HOUR of family research, after which you receive a 25% discount on family research projects.
NOK Ninja
$100 or more per month
You're the quiet type.  You sneak in, take a look around, and figure out what's what, then leave no trace.  

Includes
  • You totally get to snoop around in all my Patron-only posts.
  • You'll get a personalized postcard with an excerpt from a case.
  • Top Ten Tips to find friends or family emailed to your inbox.
  • You'll receive TWO FREE HOURS of family research, after which you will receive a 25% discount on family research projects.
The reports read: Fatal 90-133921. Deceased is viewed in Trauma Room 1. Body is warm to the touch. Manner of dress: Clothing cut away. No identification found. The body is draped in a white sheet. The head is covered by short, curly, brown hair. The eyes are brown in color. There is a mustache.

My younger brother lay unclaimed in a Texas mortuary for almost a week before the Salvation Army notified police that we were his next of kin. We were lucky. Some families wait years without any word, only to discover their father, sister, cousin, son has been long gone. 

For the last two years, I've been an unpaid, self-appointed volunteer searching for and finding next of kin (NOK) for 70 decedents whose bodies have been unclaimed. I start with their name, date of birth, date of death, and sometimes, a photograph. I scour the internet and public records for clues that lead me to their family. Some of them had poignant or powerful lives. Some lived through important historical events. Some of the things I've learned inspired me. Some broke my heart. All of them helped me understand how intricately connected we all really are.

The Past Remains is my current book project. Each of the twelve chapters tells the story of one person whose body was unclaimed, and whose kin I found. Think of what I do as helping to bring family members closure. Think of what I write as a cross between detective work, true crime, and heartwarming (or heartrending) resolutions.

I need your help. The cases are expensive to work because of the database subscriptions, and the stories are expensive to write because they require records requests. In Florida, a record may be $3, but in Oregon, for example, I've paid $50. Many stories require records from multiple agencies. For some stories, I need to travel to record repositories that require me to review records on site. And then, there's the cost of my time.

Here's the straight scoop: For the price of a Diet Coke, a medium latte, a happy hour drink, a leisurely lunch, or a lavish dinner, you can share in my interesting, exciting, frustrating, and rewarding work. You'll get access to read private Patron-only posts about the work I do, the clues I discover, the connections I make. You'll be virtually there when I resolve a case.

How? 

Just pick the level you'd like at the right: Snoop, Shadow, Bird Dog, Gumshoe, Sleuth, Private Eye, Super Sherlock, or NOK Ninja. Click the button and you're halfway there. Fill out some basic information, and you're done. But wait, there's more! Each level has additional awards.

Since Patreon is designed to build fan support for writers and artists, they don't offer an option for one-time payments. If you'd like to contribute once, you can sign up for one month, then cancel after the first payment. You are never committed to a particular length of time when you sign up as a subscriber, but I hope you'll want to stay around.

Please join me as I write the stories I discover in my search for next of kin.

Recent posts by Deb Stone

Tiers
Snoop
$2 or more per month
You're a natural born skeptic, but still, you're curious. Who does she write about? Why should I care ? How will my support help?

Includes
  • Personalized thank you postcard mailed to you.
  • You can post questions. I'll answer, natch!
  • You totally get to snoop around in all my Patron-only posts.
Shadow
$5 or more per month
You hang back and take stock before jumping in. You gotta know stuff, but you keep it on the down low. 

Includes
  • Personalized thank you postcard mailed to you.
  • You can post questions. I'll answer, natch!
  • You totally get to snoop around in all my Patron-only posts.
  • You'll get a personalized postcard with an excerpt from a case.
  • You'll get a 5% discount on family research projects.
Bird Dog
$10 or more per month
You've got a nose for story. You're persistent on a trail and loyal as a friend. 

Includes
  • Personalized thank you postcard mailed to you.
  • You can post questions. I'll answer, natch!
  • You totally get to snoop around in all my Patron-only posts.
  • You'll get a personalized postcard with an excerpt from a case.
  • Top Ten Tips to find friends or family emailed to your inbox.
  • You'll get a 10% discount on family research projects.
Gumshoe
$15 or more per month
You're stealthy and sly. You know a good character when you read one, and when you meet one. 

Includes
  • Personalized thank you postcard mailed to you.
  • You totally get to snoop around in all my Patron-only posts.
  • You'll get a personalized postcard with an excerpt from a case.
  • Top Ten Tips to find friends or family emailed to your inbox.
  • You can ask questions by private message. I'll whisper back.
  • You'll get a 15% discount on family research projects.
Sleuth
$20 or more per month
You fancy yourself a bit of a detective. You like to know the how, what, when,  and why for yourself. You like to get the inside story before everyone else. 

Includes
  • Personalized thank you postcard mailed to you.
  • You totally get to snoop around in all my Patron-only posts.
  • You'll get a personalized postcard with an excerpt from a case.
  • You can ask questions by private message. I'll whisper back.
  •  Top Ten Tips to find friends or family emailed to your inbox.
  • You'll get a 20% discount on family research projects.
Private Eye
$25 or more per month
You're all about the investigation it takes to find next of kin, and the stories that come from that process. 

Includes
  • Personalized thank you postcard mailed to you.
  • You totally get to snoop around in all my Patron-only posts.
  • You'll get a personalized postcard with an excerpt from a case.
  • You can ask questions by private message. I'll whisper back. 
  • Top Ten Tips to find friends or family emailed to your inbox.
  • You'll get a 25% discount on family research projects.
Super Sherlock
$50 or more per month
You're a lean, mean detection machine. You always figure out the story before the end.

Includes
  • You totally get to snoop around in all my Patron-only posts.
  • Top Ten Tips to find friends or family emailed to your inbox.
  • You can ask questions by private message. I'll whisper back. 
  • Top Ten Tips to find friends or family emailed to your inbox.
  • You get ONE FREE HOUR of family research, after which you receive a 25% discount on family research projects.
NOK Ninja
$100 or more per month
You're the quiet type.  You sneak in, take a look around, and figure out what's what, then leave no trace.  

Includes
  • You totally get to snoop around in all my Patron-only posts.
  • You'll get a personalized postcard with an excerpt from a case.
  • Top Ten Tips to find friends or family emailed to your inbox.
  • You'll receive TWO FREE HOURS of family research, after which you will receive a 25% discount on family research projects.