Although I've set the novel in the part of London I grew up in, the story does begin years before I was born. That called for a lot of research which involved:
- asking people older than me what they remembered about the times
- Googling like crazy
- Buying books and taking visits to the library
- Searching the Local Studies section of the main library
- getting completely sidetracked on more than one occasion
Finding yourself wading through tons of information makes it hard to know how much to add into the story itself. Too much and the novel stops being fiction and sounds like a text book.
When Skies Are Grey ends in the late seventies so there was a lot to research in terms of clothes, hairstyles, music, television, film, even down to brands of cigarettes that were smoked at the time. My characters went from wearing wide skirts with stockings and stilettos to mini skirts and then on to platform shoes.
Writers how far do you go to make your story authentic?