Research has fascinated me for as long as I can remember - filling in gaps in knowledge, discovering new facts or that accepted facts are wrong.
When I began work on my History of the Science Fiction Magazine in 1973, I soon discovered that most of the accepted history of sf is based on hearsay. When you get down to grass roots you learn the truth may differ radically or in a more subtle way .... When I came to compile my Who's Who in Horror & Fantasy Fiction in 1976 the point was hammered home even further, and here I learned that one cannot trust even first-hand sources. For instance, a number of occult fiction paperbacks had appeared bearing the name Peter Saxon, and others with Errol Locale.. I wrote to Lecale c/o New English Library, and a reply came from Wilfred McNeilly listing Saxon as one of his pen- names. I assumed that all of the Saxon titles were the work of McNeilly and included them in the entry. I even sent McNeilly a xerox of the proof of his entry and he did not dispute it. I have subsequently learned from Bill Lofts and W. Howard Baker that McNeilly only co-wrote two of the Saxon Guardian series, whilst the rest were the work of Ross Richards, Martin Thomas and others.
From the first, I set myself against "literature"; the story was the thing, and no amount of style could persuade me to select a story that lacked genuine, unadulterated horror. For those who wanted something high-brow there was plenty.