Honestly, I don’t know why. In truth, stories just come to me, and I get to read them first as they appear on the page. Then I get to make them better and better, and then publish them for you. It amounts to a lot of questions along the way. So, I do research and find the craziest information I never expected.
Now, as I write historicals, I do have a rule: I must stick as closely to the historical facts as they are known, while getting my story to evolve around those facts. I think of it like…Paul Harvey “and now for the rest of the story.” It’s challenging and fun.
Vows of Revenge: Fact- Patrician men could execute their wives and children if the disobeyed them. But they could not sell them into slavery. The thought came to me, what kind of man would do that? Cassius Julius Gullus. I really hated that character. But who could tame this rogue? It had to be a plebe Lucianus. And that poor wife – Aelia trapped between the man she hated the most in the world and in love with a man she could never have.Oh, this story was fun.
Threatened Loyalties: That began with its sister book that is yet to be completed – Pompeii’s Plague But together, I became an armchair volcanologist. Vesuvius, the volcano that destroyed two cities in the same day but with totally different outcomes. Pompeii was buried beneath ash and Herculaneum was buried with volcanic vomit. I love volcanos now.
Red Fury Revolt/Rage/Rebellion: Oh, this series is fun. I do pity Julius though.
This discovery was a very long journey into the world of Celts and Romans. It started with Boudica. (Revolt)I found her in a bookstore in Annapolis MD. This woman led 200,000 men against the might of Rome. She even scared me. And Rome. Well, for starters I got the Roman legions in Britannia all wrong. So much to learn there. And even now, a million years later, I am still learning.
In the meantime, I ran into a young tribune who was with Rome’s governor Suetonius. Gnaeus Julius Agricola. And I learned that Julius was present during the revolt with Boudica and later returned as legate and then returned for three tours as governor. What? He loved the rainy, cold weather and stubborn Britanni? He had to have a greater reason to return and take the Roman legions farther than any other governor….all the way to Inverness. And then confront the Caledonia tribes led by Calgacus at Mons Graupius. I’m still having fun with Julius. And I am sticking with his historical timeline.
(Rage) Yes Julius was in Ephesus when Jesus’ mother came there with John. Yes Julius was in Rome when Paul, Peter were there with all the other disciples. Yes Julius was there for the Great Fire, and the building of Nero’s Golden Palace. And the future emperors as Nerva, Domitian, Trajan. Oh, there is just too many fun facts to play with here.
Rebellion is in the works for 2023. I call this Season one of Red Fury. Season two returns to the world of Celts and Britannia. I can’t wait to play there.
And the stories that didn’t make it into their books that became short stories:
Vows of Revenge What happened to Aelia’s son?
Threatened Loyalties How did Balbus’ mother become known as “the Witch?”
Red Fury Revolt Rhianna’s sister was nothing like her. Why?
Red Fury Rage What was really going on behind Julius’ back all this time
Red Fury Rebellion. Ever met a narcissist? (Coming 2023 with its book)
Award-winning author of the Agricola Series Red Fury, Vows of Revenge, 18 Wheeler
Historical Fiction – Available at Amazon, Books2Read
Contemporary Romance – Available at Amazon, Books2Read (and that’s everywhere else)For more visit –JFRidgley.com
Times change yes. But people don’t. That’s the fun of writing and reading.