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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Update and Recent Review


Library Book Club Presentation


On Wednesday, August 21, I spoke to the Spokane Valley Library Book Club at the Spokane Valley Library, 12004 E. Main, Spokane Valley, Washington to discuss my historical novel, The Sign of the Eagle. This turned out to be a pleasant and relaxing experience. Although there were only ten members present sitting in a round table format, they were a lively bunch who asked intelligent questions. It turned out most of them had already read the book which was available at the library. After the moderator, Jay Holliday, asked a couple of initial questions to get the meeting rolling, I spent the rest of the session answering questions re: writing techniques; why I became a writer; and telling the group about different aspects of Celtic and Roman history. There was one or two people that questioned the authenticity of some of my facts, etc. At that point, a fellow novelist, Carol Crigger, who writes historical mysteries and westerns (she goes by the pen name, C.K. Crigger), came to my rescue. She explained that historical novels are a work of FICTION, not history. As authors of fiction, we have the leeway of filling in the blanks to move the story along in a logical and believable manner. It was obvious that a few of the members had gotten so involved with the story, they forgot it was a work of fiction. Thank you, Carol.


As the meeting neared the end, Spokane Valley Head Librarian, Kandy Brandt, who was present asked if I would return next year. She is planning to offer a three-four part presentation in which authors of historical fiction will speak on certain periods of history from a writers perspective. She wants me to make a presentation on the Classical Period. When I asked her why she wasn't interested inviting history professors who might be more knowledgeable she said, that professors treat their audiences like students. She said I am very approachable and speak to people in a easy manner. Nice compliment.


I want to thank Librarian Kandy Brant and Moderator Jay Holliday for assisting me in creating a successful and enjoyable presentation.


Rewrite Updates Wolf of Brittania


I am still in the process of rewriting, The Wolf of Britannia. At the current rate I am going, it will probably be Spring 2014 before I complete it. The changes that my book doctor/editor, Erin Brown, wants me to make have been harder than I had expected. This primarily deals with scenes in which I did to much "telling" and not enough "showing." For example, I just completed rewriting a scene in which I originally said Caratacus was bragging about taking his first head in battle. Instead, I had to show he was drunk (he staggers to his feet and reels around) and reveal through dialog his bragging. This subsequently results in having to challenge the kings champion for the best portion of boars meat which rightfully belongs to the king's best man.


Saturday, August 24th, I read chapter 36 from my historical, The Broken Lance, to the Spokane Novelist Group. They found some minor flaws, but nothing drastic and easily fixed. Because my priority is the rewrite of The Wolf of Britannia, writing The Broken Lance will take much longer to complete.


Future Ancient World Notes Article roman apt insulae


Check out Ancient World Notes for: Apartment Living in Ancient Rome - Part III. There are two more segments left in this series. Once this is completed, I will start a series base on law enforcement in Ancient Rome. It will be titled: Maintain the Public Safety in Ancient Rome. Initially, Rome used slaves to police the tumultuous capitol but changed to a force that policed and fought the city's many fires. They were known as the Vigiles or the Watch.


Book Signings


A little more than a month remains before I start my Autumn book signing tour in the Pacific Northwest. Check my book-signing page for the store near you.


Sign of the Eagle

Unfair Book Review 


Most you know I have published an historical novel, The Sign of the Eagle. It has received many good reviews on Amazon. However, it just received a very negative review with a rating of only two stars by a person named, Cindy Woodrome, who titled the review "s-l-o-w." Would you please do me a favor? Would you click onto the below link and where you see the question, "Was this review helpful?" would you click "no." The more "no's" that are seen, will lessen this person's credibility. I do not believe my novel warrants this negative review. Right below on the same page you will see a wonderful four star review by Anna B. Thank you.

Please click on the link below:

Negative Amazon Book Review


-Steve Hughes aka Jess Steven Hughes

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