Next to my bed sits a stack of books that I have been using for research. The Stephen King memoir/advice book remains on the "To Read" list. I've yet to open the thing.
The others, though? Have felt my thumbs on their pages, flipping to maps, descriptions, and back to the maps. I've visited all these places, seen the sights. Still, the words of these writers help stoke my memory. Sent to me by my friend, Trixie, these travel guides allow me to get in the heads of my characters.
A while ago, I read these books and a few websites about a self-tour of Capitol Hill. I spent about an hour and a half doing this reading. That translated to two sentences. Yet, stored in my head are the places my character visited, experiences he will draw upon in later conversations in this story.
When I get this novel written, the next one will be set in the town I call my home. I won't need guidebooks for that one.