Carson asked Carolyn Meyer:

Ms. Meyer, I adore your work. I especially love your books featuring the Tudor era and Mary, Queen of Scots. I thought you would be the perfect person to ask this question: How much of a historical fiction novel is research and how long does that research typically take for a single book? I appreciate your response. Thank you.

Carolyn Meyer I love this question! When I'm thinking of writing about a specific historical person, I do some quick research (Wikipedia) to get an idea of the timeline and other people involved. Then I look for biographies, to see what the story might be. After about a month, I begin writing, getting a feel for the main and secondary characters, figuring out the voice and how the story should be structured. Meanwhile, I focus the research on background, the details that bring the story to life. The first draft and the research continue simultaneously for about six months. From then on the main job is revising and polishing. Then I send it to the editor, fingers crossed; invariably the ms. comes back with requests for revision, some of them major. The entire process take about a year.

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