Well, secret histories and con men anyway.
Jeff Ford, whose The Girl in the Glass was an LBC nominee last spring, recently participated in a roundtable on both those things at the Eos Books blog. The other participants are a star's cast for a salon with the best conversation ever: John Crowley (Lord Byron's Novel), Tim Powers (Three Days to Never), and James Morrow (The Last Witchfinder). Several topics from the spring--research and historical accuracy, to name a couple--make their way into the conversation.
At one point, Ford says:
For me it is not that what I write I am not, but I most certainly do feel that the person who writes the books is a wholly other consciousness than my own. There are places where they intersect, but the one who writes, in his manipulation and extension of metaphor is doing something I don't think I could do if I intellectually considered it.
Their discussion is in three parts and highly recommended: