Recently, I had the opportunity to visit with some sixth graders who were, in the words of their teachers, beginning a unit in which they would "look at the past through the lenses of both historical fiction and factual information." They asked me to speak with them briefly about how I used research in writing Seeking the Center.
Seeking the Center takes place in the 1990s, so it's not a deeply historical novel. But because my characters are very much affected by past events, I did quite a bit of research on the history of their region.
The students were bright and engaged and asked great questions. I thoroughly enjoyed being with them and I hope they got a sense of how much fun it is to let your natural interest and curiosity lead you, from one source to another, into a whole new (or old) time and place!