Happily I'm in good company.
A US writer - let's call her M* - whose book for younger readers is just out, has advised a group of young aspiring writers not to bother with such feeble-minded tasks as research when writing historical fiction:
M said she didn't know enough and had to write about what she didn't know. ''To write a book about the past [as she has done], there is a saying that you read only two books and then close your eyes,'' she said. That was all the research required.