In the beginning there was curiosity. This led to a search for more Roman era historical fiction; a search that resulted in my reading Marius Mules 1 by S.J.A. Turney. After finishing the third volume, I overcame my reluctance and opened a Twitter account for express purpose of contacting Mr. Turney. Since that initial encounter, I have formed electron based friendships with a bevy of authors, reviewers and fellow travelers from around the world. What I gained from them, in addition to the bounty of excellent books to read, was the confidence to take on blank page and let loose the Muse inside me resulting in this, my first novel. So, I owe a big thanks to the following (and I’m sure I’ll forget someone): Simon James Atkinson Turney, Gordon Doherty, Debby Foulkes, Prue Batten, Hannah Methwell, Rob Hagar Bayliss, Robert Southworth, Glynnie, Kate Quinn, Stephanie Dray, Stephen A. McKay, Matthew Harffy and all of those hinted at in the parentheses.
Regarding whatever innate talent I may have, I must give a big thank you to my ninth grade English teacher, Mrs. Winkler. She managed to coax and at times coerce my imagination in how not only to read a book, but to write. My very first fictional story was written in her class. It was a science fiction account of some aliens (in the form of elephants) who helped mankind survive some sort of predicament. I don’t remember much, but one detail has remained with me, probably because it exhibits the wit and humor I try to employ in my writing. The ending to the elephant/alien story had the sentence, ‘and they worked for peanuts.’