NOT EVERYTHING IN MY OFFICE IS A MESS. FIVE FILING cabinet drawers, along with a 600-record database in my computer, contain in a fairly organized fashion, what I know, along with all I’ve forgotten–what went into the writing of Between Tides. Hour upon hour of audio recordings, interview transcriptions, and notes–too much, really–but was it? David Stick’s advice to me was to research a thing to death, then put it all away, and write from memory, a kind of synthesis. At the Key West Literary Seminar on historical fiction in 2009, Allan Gurganus said you have to know everything, right down to what’s in your character’s junk drawer in the kitchen. Geraldine Brooks posed the question I’d been asking: how long do you research your subject? Until you don’t find anything new, she said. I thought I was about there, when Google Books came along, with a treasure trove of newspaper and magazine articles and book references about the man who inspired my character, Gil Lodge. You, the reader, will be the judge of whether it was all too much, or just enough.