About research, she says:
The research was daunting: It felt, in the beginning, that I was undertaking to move a mountain with a teaspoon…[T]he lion’s share of the work happened here in my study. I sat and read for years. Everything written by Trotsky, Diego Rivera, and Frida Kahlo, and everything written about them. Thousands of newspaper and magazine articles documenting everyday life in the U.S. during World War II, and then the postwar freeze-up. Old photo collections…But I loved the surprises. For example, I learned that contrary to popular belief, the continental U.S. was attacked during WWII. The New York Times ran photos of the aftermath. The Japanese sent a submarine up the Columbia River and deployed a floatplane bomber, with the goal of setting the Oregon forests on fire and throwing the country into a panic. But the plan was rained out.
Full interview at Goodreads here.