Some readers like to know more about their favorite writers; something personal or inspirational about their lives or work. I don’t know why, because most of us lead very dull lives. But in the interest of sharing, here are some readers’ resources: links to some essays and posts where readers can learn more about me and my work. To connect with me online, use the social media buttons on the right. If you have any questions for me or suggestions for additional content, please feel free to leave a comment.
My individual book pages also have links to interviews where I discuss my books and writing process, online reviews, research bibliographies, print and audio samples, book trailers and more.
- The Life of an Unintentional Writer (biographical essay)
- Friendly Fire (article on my writer’s group process)
- Where are All the Strong Women (post on writing characters authentic to their times)
- Writing Sword of the Gladiatrix: An Exercise in Frustration and Creative Breakthrough (post)
- Writing process blog tour (post)
- My Hair! A Birthday Adventure (a post on another Monday birthday disaster)
- And this is how I get my hair done (just kidding, but I love Janet Stephen’s YouTube channel.) Check out the “Hair Style Archaeologist”!
Like most writers, I’m also a reader.
For those books—fiction and non-fiction—that grab me, I’ll write a review on my blog, talk it up in readers’ groups like GoodReads and LibraryThing, and (recently!) send out a tweet. I’ll occasionally have authors share their thoughts on their own books in guest posts. Below are links (alpha by title within a category) to reviews of books I’d recommend. Links to guest posts on my blog are at the end.
Quick Links to Full Reviews:
- Alexandria: A Marcus Didius Falco Mystery by Lindsey Davis
- Antony and Cleopatra by Colleen McCullough
- Empire by Steven Saylor
- Hand of Fire by Judith Starkston
- Imperium by Robert Harris
- Khan: Empire of Silver by Conn Iggulden
- Latro in the Mist (omnibus) by Gene Wolfe
- Noah’s Wife by T. K. Thorne
- Outlaw by Angus Donald
- Roma by Steven Saylor
- The Seven Wonders: A Novel of the Ancient World by Steven Saylor
- Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
- Boudica by Vanessa Collingridge
- Boudica: Iron Age Warrior Queen by Richard Hingley and Christina Unwin
- Catherine de Medici: Renaissance Queen of France by Leonie Frieda
- Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff
- Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland’s History-Making Race Around the World by Matthew Goodman
- Hypatia of Alexandria by Maria Dzielska, (translated by F. Lyra)
- Hypatia of Alexandria: Mathematician and Martyr by Michael A. B. Deakin
- The Kings’ Mistresses: the Liberated Lives of Marie Mancini, Princess Colonna, and Her Sister Hortense, Duchess Mazarin by Elizabeth C. Goldsmith
- March: Book One and Two by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin
- Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave and Other Writings by Frederick Douglass
- Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories from History—Without the Fairy-Tale Endings by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie
Interviews with Other Authors
During my period of freelance writing, I had the opportunity to interview some of literature’s best and most interesting authors in a wide variety of fields. They all gave most generously of their time. For the first time, I’ve made the transcripts of the full interviews available (several are over 4000 words). As you will see in the “Author’s Note” at the end of each interview I made the most of the material and usually sold two—if not more—different articles from each interview. I had the opportunity to interview both Ursula K. Le Guin and Karen Armstrong twice and combined the material into one document each. Since I started writing my own novels, I haven’t had as much opportunity to formally interview other authors, but I did include one from my blog. Where appropriate I updated information on the author’s publications in the Author’s Note. Have fun getting to know these wonderful people:
- Valerie Anand (a.k.a. Fiona Buckley) Popular historical fiction and mystery writer Valerie Anand brings past times and conundrums to life with fascinating characters, abundant detail and meticulous research in her twenty-one novels.
- Karen Armstrong, a “freelance monotheist,” is among the foremost religious writers and thinkers in the world.
- Anita Diamant wanted to do something different with her writing life. The result is her best-selling novel The Red Tent.
- Jan Karon, author of beloved Mitford Series (nine novels plus seven related gift books) has tapped into something deep and needy in the American spirit.
- Nancy Kress is the award-winning author of twenty-one books: thirteen novels of science fiction or fantasy, one YA novel, two thrillers, three story collections, and two books on writing.
- Ursula K. Le Guin Before J. K. Rowling and Harry Potter, there was Ursula K. Le Guin and her best-selling children’s stories of wizards and magic in Books of Earthsea.
- Melanie McDonald talked to me about her novel, historical research and writing process from her home in Virginia.
- James K. Morrow discusses his debt to the SF/F community, scientific humanism, organized religion, the literary roots of his stories, and the difficulties of addressing the “big questions” in satire.
- Christine Wiltz writes about sex, bootlegged booze, beautiful women, and powerful men set against the steamy backdrop of corruption in New Orleans in the roaring twenties.
Title: The Raven’s Seal
Author: Andrei Baltrakmens
Publisher: Top Five Books (November 2012)
Formats: Paperback (416 pages), eBook
Blurb: In the fictional 18th-century English city of Airenchester, the body of Thaddeus Grainger’s rival turns up stabbed to death in an alley just hours after their inconclusive duel. Only one suspect comes to mind. Charged with murder, Grainger’s fate is sealed before his trial even begins. A young gentleman of means but of meaningless pursuits, Grainger is cast into the notorious Bellstrom Gaol, where he must quickly learn to survive in the filthy, ramshackle prison. Set against the urban backdrop of late 18th-century England, The Raven’s Seal unravels a tale of corruption, betrayal, murder, and–ultimately–redemption and love. (Read post.)
Title: The Twelve Rooms of the Nile
Author: Enid Shomer
Publisher: Simon and Schuster (August 2012)
Formats: Paperback, (480 pages), eBook
Blurb: Before she became the nineteenth century’s greatest heroine, before he had written a word of Madame Bovary, Florence Nightingale and Gustave Flaubert traveled down the Nile at the same time in 1850. But where history would have these two figures float right by each other, the award-winning writer Enid Shomer brings them together to ignite a passionate friendship that alters both their destinies. (Read post.)
Title: The Discovery of Jeanne Baret
Author: Glynis Ridley
Publisher: Broadway Books (2011)
Format: Paperback (291 pages), eBook, Audio book
Blurb: The year was 1765. Eminent botanist Philibert Commerson had just been appointed to a grand new expedition: the first French circumnavigation of the world. As the ships’ official naturalist, Commerson would seek out resources—medicines, spices, timber, food—that could give the French an edge in the ever-accelerating race for empire. Jeanne Baret, Commerson’s young mistress and collaborator, was desperate not to be left behind. She disguised herself as a teenage boy and signed on as his assistant. The journey made the twenty-six-year-old, known to her shipmates as “Jean” rather than “Jeanne,” the first woman to ever sail around the globe. Yet so little is known about this extraordinary woman, whose accomplishments were considered to be subversive, even impossible for someone of her sex and class. (Read post.)