When were rainbow Slinkies first put on the market? What did the different colors mean on a mood ring? Who had the top album in 1978? When did Farrah Fawcett’s famous red bathing suit poster come out? And most importantly, how do you spell her name?

These and many other bits of historical trivia can all be answering in a few easy minutes online. It’s no news that the internet is a fabulous source of all knowledge, but what I’m discovering is how much easier it make writing historical fiction. Any time I want some random factoid, I don’t have to run down to the library or skim old newspapers, I just google it, and within half a dozen clicks I know.

Many authors shudder at the thought of using the internet to do research, but for some information it’s far and away the easiest.

In fact, I’ve found that there’s an inverse relationship of triviality to accessibility. The more insignificant a fact/question, the more likely I am to find the answer online.