When Fiorella was in college--lo, these many years ago--she researched her learned papers by consulting library tomes. Now that Fiorella is writing novels, she researches by consulting her friends. For her current work, she consulted Joan Barton, Carol Fox, Gary Wofford, and Michelle Wyckoff about ranches and cattle. For horsemanship, she turned to Joan again and to Husband. Judy Scott and Carrie Nelson were her civic theater experts. Paula Marks knows everything there is to know about the history of the American West.
First hand beats the flinders out of library tomes.