How do you go about researching the history behind your books?
John Anthony Miller:
Once I determine a period to write about, I choose the location. I think the location, if described well enough, is really a character, often as important as the protagonist. And then I devise the plot. I have dozens swirling around in my head, and need only to find the one that interests me, and potential readers, the most. I often do the characters last, and I usually find that they turn out far different in the end than I had envisioned in the beginning. I research everything from clothing to hairstyles to food to military maneuvers. I read books about the time period, books written during the time period, and I research websites. The BBC website, for example, is a wealth of information, including personal stories. I continue to research until the book is completed. The first draft is just that – a bit of a mess with notes to myself for future enhancements. But each revision shapes the story, the research bringing both the scenes and characters to life.