Q:Did you have any strange/interesting childhood obsessions? Mine were Anne Frank and the Romanovs. I know. I'm weird.
I had a lot, usually of fairly brief duration and nearly always tied to something I had read or been reading. The most sustained bout of research I ever undertook before I was an adult was into What the World Was Like in the Sixth Century A.D., when I was about thirteen, because I wanted to write an epic story (transparently inspired by the handful of Prince Valiant books I had checked out from the library) in which a knight of King Arthur’s Round Table traveled around the immediately postclassical world having adventures. I still sort of want someone to use the Ghanian empire as a setting for sustained romance in the old “exciting stories” sense, although hopefully not in the “telling a white man’s story” sense that would have been my default.