In an interview with author and journalist Pete Hamill, he explains how he researches his novels and in the process creates memories for his fictional characters.
If his fiction is set in the past, he reads histories, letters, memoirs and old newspapers.
“Then I let my notes marinate for awhile, usually a few months, until they become memory…the memory of one or more of the characters.”
Many newspapers have placed archives online and for older editions of newspapers that aren’t online, check the archives at your library. You’ll also find letters, artifacts, photos, and historical documents at local and state libraries and historical societies.
Read the full interview with Hamill in the December 2011 issue of The Writer magazine.