I like Tor.com’s explanation best for the giant styrofoam head found floating in the Hudson River last week:
This past Thursday a giant styrofoam head turned up in the Hudson River. Our suspicion is that it fell through from an alternate 2013 timeline where the Roman Empire never fell.
My second favorite explanation: it fell off a Mardi Gras float in New Orleans and made it’s way up the East Coast via the Gulf Stream. I guess that’s more likely.
It helps that I love all things ancient Rome; I’ve spent almost as much time researching my MUSES OF ROMA series as I have writing it. From books to web sites to pod casts to multiple viewings of the HBO series Rome (both seasons), I’ve covered a lot.
Obviously I’ve barely scratched the surface of all the available material, but here are some of the resources I found helpful and/or interesting during my research.
The Rise of Rome by Anthony Everitt
Concise and entertaining history of how Rome went from a backwater trading post in 800 BCE to the world’s greatest empire in 1 AD.
Ancient Rome by Simon Baker
Looking for an overview of Rome’s entire history? This book covers the entire history of the Roman Empire, from its mythical origens to the abdication of the last Emperor in 476 AD.
Roma by Steven Saylor
It’s Everitt’s Rise of Rome meets a John Jakes novel. Roma follows two Roman families from the founding to the rise of Octavian Caesar Augustus. I took a lot of inspiration from this one.
A Gladiator Only Dies Once by Steven Saylor
Short stories about Gordianus the Finder, an ancient Roman private investigator. Great look at life in everyday ancient Rome.
History of Rome Podcasts by Mike Duncan
Better than the college history courses I took on the subject! Mike is passionate about Rome and he knows his stuff.
Nova Roma: Choosing a Roman Name
Lots of Roman names in my books, of course, and I would’ve been lost without this web site’s explanations of Roman naming customs and lists of common Roman family names, first names, and nicknames.
The Eternal City of Rome is 2,766 years old as of 4/21/13…if you go by the day Romulus and Remus, who were conceived by the war god Mars and a Vestal Virgin, raised the city’s first walls.
My goal is to write a post each week about my experiences writing my current work-in-progress, the third book in my MUSES OF ROMA sci-fi/alt-history epic. I’m going to call this series “AmWriting,” after the popular Twitter hashtag of the same name.
What do I hope to accomplish with these posts? Well…
Goal #1: I need content!
Coming up with blog ideas is hard, folks, so I need something to write about each week. I may detail my writing process, provide an interesting gem I learned from my Roman/scientific/etc. research, talk about marketing/social media ideas for authors, or simply whine about how hard writing is, and that I should just give up now, and that I feel like one of those American Idol contestants who don’t know how bad they are–
Whoa. I’ll save that for a future post.
Goal #2: Paying it forward
I’ve been studying the fiction craft for over ten years. I’ve learned a few things here and there. If any of my posts inspire one budding writer to start the first sentence of her first novel, then I’d consider goal #2 accomplished.
Goal #3: Buzzzzz…
I got the idea for this series from the CreateSpace Community blog, which suggested that writing about your experiences while writing a book is a good way to generate buzz about said book before it’s published. Whether I go traditional or indie with my MUSES OF ROMA series, any pre-publication buzz, such as it is, will come in handy.
So. I can’t guarantee every post will be helpful, but I’ll sure try to make it interesting.