This is a question I get asked a lot when people find out I write historical romances. I've already blogged about it once, but there's another point I feel I should make, one that follows hard on the heels of a comment that usually follows such a question: "I love historical romances but the thought of doing all that research....!" The ending is often left unsaid, but I think it's fairly obvious. The thought of doing research is not appealing.
And that, my friends, is what separates the folks who should write historical romances from the folks who shouldn't.
I think it would be safe to say that for most writers of historical romance, research isn't some dull chore grudgingly undertaken, some boring place we have to drive through to get to our destination. We research because we like it. For us, research is a scenic journey through vistas we may or may not use in our work. Heck, we even love the detours, because sometimes they can be the most rewarding of all, whether they allow us to better understand the time period and the people who lived in it, or provide a "telling detail" for a description, or the basis of a new character, perhaps even a new book.
We write historicals not in spite of the research, but because of the research. For us, spending hours reading about, say, Elizabethan medical practices, is fascinating, interesting and exciting, even if we only get to use a fraction of what we learn, or maybe none of it at all.
But if the thought of spending time on such an endeavor sounds beyond boring? Then no, you probably shouldn't consider writing historical romances, even if you like reading them. Enjoy the finished book and leave the research to us.