What I'm hoping to achieve by writing this blog is to find myself in a conversation with others who've been bitten by the research bug. If you've ever picked up a book and read through all the footnotes and the bibliography, if you know your main character's family history better than you know your own, if you pack a lunch when you head for the library, if you've had a good gossip session with like-minded friends about a celebrity scandal that took place 700 years ago, well, then, we might have something in common.

I don't mean for this blog to be a how-to. I'm not a trained historian (though I'm eternally grateful to those who are, because I couldn't do what I do without them), but I've learned a few things as I went along. I've learned from countless missteps and miscalculations, too, so the blog may at times be more of a how-not-to, or a cautionary tale.

What this blog is not: I won't be reviewing historical novels or posting links to other historical fiction sites. I do read those blogs and make use of the reviews in planning my own reading, and I'm grateful to those who write them, but there are others already doing these things so well that I don't see how I can add much that's new or different. The website for the Historical Novel Society lists its members' websites, and Sarah Johnson's Reading the Past is an example of a blog with excellent reviews and extensive links.

I am fascinated by the process of research, especially research whose end product will be not a history comprised of verifiable facts and scholarly interpretations, but a work of imagination. I'm looking for that point where the scholarly process and the creative process intersect.

Will you join me there?