I sort of treat the research as clues in a detective story – like I’ve got to figure out what was really going on. And sometimes – as with Russia! – it turns out that “what was really going on” is contrary to what appeared to be going on. As for the Yom Kippur War – I figured the Mossad would like to have that war turn out not to be so costly, not such a close call. I find the historical period (or character, or place) first, just because it’s something intriguing, and then I read everything I can find on it, hoping to find those suggestive little unexplained or implausible details. And when I’ve got a good handful of those, I try to figure out what supernatural back-story would explain them. It’s kind of a screwed-up version of the scientific method!