Pamela Smith Hill (the second of my instructors who I love love love) discussed the importance of research in writing. Maybe it’s the the librarian in me, but research is close to my heart. I did extensive research in all three of my books, but (hopefully) the reader doesn’t see it. Research is essential to historical novels because if one is using actual events (ie., the Civil War or World War I) the details need to be accurate. But Hill urges writers not to let the facts hold them back. Write from the imagination to get the story down and revise the details later.
4 types of research:
Books and other printed materials- Primary and secondary sources. [She credits librarians as being a great source.]
Interviews- decide how and who you will interview. In person? Phone? Via email?
Location- Hill visits locations where she sets her tales. This also includes archival research in local libraries where she finds treasures like letters, photos and newspapers.
internet there are MANY valuable resources beyond Google and Wikipedia. Ask the reference librarians. Our local reference people are rock stars!