Writing the Past in 2015

Janus, the two-faced god of doorways. Give him a thought as we step from one year into another.

Janus, the two-faced god of doorways. Give him a thought as we step from one year into another.

Happy New Year to all of you!

Yes, 2015 is here. For an historian especially, I think the passage of time is all the more acute. Maybe that’s because we are a bit more aware of dates and periods in history.

We’ve had a very enjoyable holiday in my house. Lots of food and drink, family and friends, movies, music and of course, reading. The Wassail and mulled wine were especially big hits with the adults! There was definitely a lingering feeling of magic in the air. 

Wassail Feast.  Wassail!

Wassail Feast
Wassail!

However, New Year to me is always a mix of excitement and melancholy. I find it bitter-sweet to let another year go by, but then there is so much more that I want to do, that I look forward to doing, personally and professionally.

For this first post of 2015, I thought I would go over some of the big things I have on my ‘To Write and Publish’ list.

First of all, I’m just about finished the first draft of Thanatos, Carpathian Interlude Part III. This will be the last part of the trilogy and it has definitely taken some unexpected turns, thrusting Gaius Justus Vitalis into realms of darkness and despair.

Secondly, I want to write a prequel novella to the Eagles and Dragons series. This will take readers through Lucius Metellus Anguis’ first years in the Legions and the Parthian campaign in which Emperor Septimius Severus conquered the Parthian Empire and sacked Ctesiphon. It is in this campaign that Lucius comes to the Emperor’s attention and this story will show how Lucius came to be in Alexandria and what led him to be made a tribune in charge of the patrol across Roman North Africa which is where Children of Apollo begins. I’m really looking forward to going back to Lucius’ early, idealistic days.

Third, I’m in the middle of working on the second draft of Warriors of Epona (Eagles and Dragons Book III). This book will be out, I hope, for next summer at the latest. Because I write my first drafts long-hand, I need to type the manuscripts out. This is good for revision but it does slow the process down. So, related to that, I want to try and type directly onto the computer if I can work something out as far as technology. I do most of my writing away from my computer, so, we’ll see how that goes. Writing long-hand, I find, helps me to think and formulate my thoughts as I go. Change is good, however, so here’s to improved processes in 2015!

Salve 2015!

Salve 2015!

Fourth, I now have an idea for the second instalment in the Mythologia series. I’m not letting that beast of the bag just yet, suffice it to say it will be full of intrigue and an epic battle that only a great hero can come out of alive. It will not be something you will expect. 

Fifth, my research for the tentatively titled ‘Heart of Fire – A story of the Ancient Olympics‘ has begun, but I want to get even more stuck into it. I probably won’t finish writing this book in 2015, but I do want start it. I’ve got a great story idea for this stand-alone novel!

Sixth, after having let it languish for over a year, I’m determined to get back into the Killing a God series about Alexander the Great. With the Amphipolis discovery in Greece over the past several months, the time certainly is ripe for this story. Of course the series is not finished, but I have a few hundred pages which I will probably serialize. This is going to take a good deal of planning, but it will be well-worth the wait as I think I’ve developed a great storyline and take on the Alexander story from a very different point of view.

Seventh, once Warriors of Epona is out, I’m going to jump right into book IV of the Eagles and Dragons series. I’m developing the story more precisely and doing a bit more research, but I do know that it’s going to be a beautiful and intense follow-up to book III.

Those are my writing goals at the moment. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t daunted by all this work, but in truth my biggest challenge is not writing. After all, I love writing about the past, and it’s always a great joy to me that (Thank the Muses!) comes relatively easily. Time, and my lack thereof, is where I need to strategize. Hopefully 2015 sees an abundance of Roman Legion efficiency for my part.

Time to get down to some serious writing!

Time to get down to some serious writing!

I’m curious about your own goals for 2015. Do you have any places you would like to travel to this year? What are your reading goals? Do you have your own writing  or research goals? Are there any historical films you’re looking forward to this year? Please do share in the comments below!

Whatever you do, or aim to do, I hope that 2015 is a brilliant year for all of us!

I’d like to close this post by saying Thank You to all of you for the e-mails and various other interactions in 2014. I love sharing the past with you all, and look forward to writing more of it.

Cheers and Happy New Year!

Thank you for reading.

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