Thursday, August 18, 2016

Can a Historical Novelist Do Too Much Research?

From author Warren Bell:
I love history and actually enjoy doing historical research. I like to root out the exact details of how history unfolded and later subject my characters to events as they really took place. This requires a lot of digging around in both the Internet and into printed material. I especially prize first-hand accounts by people who experienced the times about which I write. Sometimes, I buy used copies of the actual books to gain access to the information I seek. I recently purchased BARBED WIRE SURGEON, the memoirs of Dr. Alfred A. Weinstein, MD, a surgeon who served in the jungle hospitals during the defense of Bataan in 1942. When I write about my Navy Nurse protagonist working in these hospitals in my current project, ENDURE THE CRUEL SUN, I have the advantage of the point of view of someone who was there at the time. Nothing I could make up would be as horrible as the circumstances that actually took place.

My worktable is typically piled high with reference books. I also like to write on my big IMac desktop with my MacBook Air opened to Internet references beside it. When I need to insert a detail, I can usually get to it very quickly. (Read more.)

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