I think it's important to humanize history; fiction can help us remember. A lot of books I've read in the past have been so much more important than textbooks - there is an emotional connection with one particular person. I'm very much of a research-is-important type of fiction writer, even for contemporary fiction. I wrote about blogs in America and I've never blogged. But I read many, many blogs - usually about feminist things, or about race, or about hair.