For me, inspiration always comes from reading. Be it history, fiction, essays, or comics, I find my best ideas are sparked from gaps I discover in narratives. What was the cause of the famous Capulet-Montague feud? What was Shakespeare doing during his "lost" years? How did the destruction of Jerusalem influence the building of the Colosseum and the rise of Christianity? How did Nellie Bly get her first reporting job? The answers to all these and more invariably came in the research.
I'm always happy to share my research, and when I have time I'll keep updating these pages with links to my sources, or else pdf downloads of them.
To start off, here are three pages of research on the early years of reporter Nellie Bly.