Writing Updates and UK Reviews

It’s only March and already I can tell 2014 is going to be a busy year! Legendary Magic has gone through the first edit and just needs a few revisions before it goes through the second round. I’m planning on a June release. I just checked the links for Elementary Magic on the Amazon UK site and I have two five star reviews – that is so awesome and as usual, I got a little misty-eyed when I read them.

My foray into an entirely different genre – historical fiction – will also be released this summer. The Servant of the Flame is the title of that book and I have a draft cover that I think I love – but I’d really like your feedback on it. Here it is: content_4601409_DIGITAL_BOOK_THUMBNAIL

I’m also working on a series of short stories based on the characters in The Servant of the Flame. I did a lot of research for this book and stumbled across some great stories and events which I wanted to tell. I’m going to post those stories here, but who knows? Maybe they’ll become a separate book of short stories. I’m also going to put up some links for ancient Roman history that total Roman geeks like me might appreciate. If you’re interested in the topic, Amazon has a great selection of FREE books on the topic like Livy, Dio, Plutarch, and a whole raft of other historians who deal with the every day life of the people in Republican Rome.

I’m going to work on the book blurbs for Legendary Magic and the Servant of the Flame and when I get the published on this site, I would greatly appreciate it if you could share them around with people you might think would be interested. I’d like to create a little “buzz” for them before the release and I know my book sales rely on word-of-mouth. Thank you in advance.

Oh, one more thing: If you’re reading this site and you’d like to contact me – drop me a note, message, or comment! I’d love to hear from more readers – that’s what makes me a better writer!

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Pompeii 3D – a nice way to escape for a few hours

I rarely go to the movies, but the lure of a 3D adventure in Pompeii as Vesuvius erupts in the background was almost too much for me to resist – add in Kiefer Sutherland (as a bad Roman Senator) and I had to buy a ticket!

Before we left for the theatre, I checked out the reviews and was disappointed to see it get mediocre reviews for being schmaltzy and typical. I’m really glad I tend to ignore the movie critics because I found the film to be an enjoyable ride.

I love all things Ancient Rome, archaeological, and good disaster movies. So Pompeii was right up my alley. The cinematography, special effects, and sets were spectacular. The story moved quickly and I liked the characters (Vesuvius being one of the star players! I knew the mountain wouldn’t let me down…) although the critics described the characters as “one dimensional” I thought they provided a nice backdrop to the main event – after all, it’s a movie about Pompeii when the volcano erupts – it’s hard to compete with that for dramatic appeal.

DON’T read the reviews by the “real” critics (one actually gives away the ending – and even though it wasn’t exactly a surprise for me, I still would have preferred to live in ignorance for the duration of the film). If you want to escape modern life for a few hours and want to watch some good gladiator battles, see the markets and homes in Ancient Pompeii, watch Kiefer Sutherland as a villain (he does it so well) and then watch a mountain explode – you could do worse. I thought it was well worth the price of the ticket – I was completely entertained for the duration of the movie.

If you’re really into Pompeii – National Geographic Channel just had a nice show on it (no doubt to celebrate the release of the movie) and there are tons of sites on line which do a good job of acquainting you with the story, archaeology, and geology.

Historical Fiction Work Out

I know a lot about Republican Rome.  I’ve read Plutarch, Dio, Livy, Tacitus, and Colleen McCullough’s Masters of Rome series multiple times.  Throw in a little Anthony Everett and Steven Saylor and I’m pretty well versed…or so I thought.  I am neck deep the process of putting my first foray into historical fiction together and have discovered that my knowledge is hard to put down chronologically in a way that lets the events of the time period support my story.  I have spreadsheets, outlines, note cards, and powerpoints – oh my!  So with this being said…I salute the authors of historical fiction.  My dear Ms. McCullough, I had no idea how difficult this would be.