4. I'm always interested in how other writers research their settings and timeframes. We'd enjoy hearing about your methods.
I have to confess, I have over two hundred books and websites in my bibliography. Yes, that's sick. I started with basic texts on World War II, then got more detailed. Bibliographies are a great resource--when a book is mentioned in multiple bibliographies, it warrants attention. My local library can obtain any book in the county system free of charge, and can locate books nationwide for a nominal fee. They've found some obscure books for me.
The most challenging research was on how to fly a B-17. Since the heroes in this series are B-17 bomber pilots--but I'm not a pilot--I read a "How to Fly a Plane" book to get the basics, purchased copies of the actual B-17 pilot's manual and the training film (pure gold!), and ran the flying scenes past a pilot friend. For home front information, I use everything from Top Ten lists, to fashion style guides, to the Time Capsule series with extracts from Time Magazine. Lately, I've been poring over microfilm of my local newspaper for everything from rationing updates, to the weather, to fun little trivia, like how the PTA met at Mrs. So-and-So's house on D Street where they knit socks for soldiers.
5. Finally, when will your next book be launched? How long does it take you to write a book?
"A Memory Between Us" comes out in September 2010, and the third book in the series comes out in August 2011. Each book in the series took about two years to research, write, and edit.
Thank you, Sarah, for an excellent and informative interview.
Here's a question for our readers: What are some of your favorite research methods?