Well, yes some of it is, but in some cases (like mine) authors draw on factual experiences, history, or use some bit of real information as a springboard to write their book.
I started with a vague idea of what I wanted to write about, a story about two women. These weren't ordinary women, they were single, they were moms, and they were witches. I wove Southern history into my story as I wrote and included many other realistic bits and pieces into my story.
This, of course, required research. While I put my own spin on just about everything, I wanted to ensure that there were still real facts to help the not-so-real part seem convincing - does that make sense??
I was lucky enough to attend a conference about putting the science in science fiction. These authors really did their research! Speaking to NASA and chemists about "what-ifs" and "why would it??" THAT made good fiction!
In my book, there are loads of historical facts and what some may consider benign information - but it all required research. The fun part is what you get to do with it. The hard part is making sure it makes sense to someone who is a specialist on the topic!
Witches for instance. What kind? Real faith based Wiccans or totally made up movie type ones? I chose Wiccan. For me, it made it more realistic. I certainly wouldn't want to offend anyone, so I did a ton of reading and have some suggested authors below.
Another topic for research was bees. I researched how mead was made, how beeswax was removed from hives, how a beekeeper would dress, and so on. What they do with it all was up to me, but I wouldn't dare make up something about beekeeping and have a reader call me out on it!
So there you have it. If you plan on writing any sort of fiction, make sure you do your research!!
Wiccan Reading Suggestions:
Kate West: "The Real Witches Handbook"
Ellen Dugan: "7 Days of Magic: Spells, Charms & Correspondences for the Bewitching Week"
"Garden Witchery: Magick from the Ground Up"
Scott Cunningham: "The Truth about Witchcraft Today"
" Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs"
Dorothy Morrison: "Bud, Blossom and Leaf: The Magical Herb Gardener's Handbook"
Silver RavenWolf: "HedgeWitch: Spells, Crafts & Rituals for Natural Magick"