I'm not going to argue it. Good stories happen when the author has drawn on something deep within themselves and paired it with something they have knowledge about.
For instance, I used to play lead guitar in a rock band. In the Persephone Alcmedi series, the love interest Johnny was werewolf...and a guitar-playing front man. My years in and around that scene allowed me to invigorate his persona and deepen his character into a three-dimensional person.
But...what happens when you want to write a rock-n-roll bad boy but don't know a Gibson from a Les Paul?
You read. Books, magazines. You watch shows, informative films and how-tos. You talk to people in the know, interview them and pick their brains.
Yes, you know all that. You get it. And my companions here at the Bordello are sure to provide links, theories, suggestions and options (or have already, I've read the posts so far this week)...but I want to give you a little bit of inspiration to get you into the research.
Personally, I love the research. Sure, it's time consuming. Sure its dangerous--each new detail might lead you down a rabbit trail where you could get lost.
But it might also guide you
to that one significant detail
that changes everything.
You have to get in there and learn your way around, meaning you have to learn the way you find inspiration among the information. It takes experience to recognize the difference between skid row and the road less traveled. I can't tell you how to do that, because its your mind, your stories, your drive.
Don't think of research as work...
it's a world of options forming.