I’ve been asked to write the foreword for A Song of War, an upcoming collection of short stories about the Trojan War. Considering the calibre of the authors involved, including Christian G Cameron, Kate Quinn and SJA Turney, I feel very honoured.
There are seven “songs” in the compilation. Although each tale can be read on its own, the authors have added threads that link the stories and characters together, so it’s a much more satisfying experience to read them in sequence.
Reading the stories and writing the foreword has been enjoyable and interesting: enjoyable because the stories are well written with excellent plotting and characterisation; interesting because I’m reading about scenes and characters I’ve become so familiar with in my own books, but through the eyes of other writers. I’ve always made it a personal rule not to read the work of other ancient world novelists (whether Greek, Egyptian or Roman), because I don’t want too much of their influence to creep into my own writing, but in A Song of War I’ve been fascinated to see how other modern writers portray Odysseus, Agamemnon, Helen and the rest. And they’ve done a cracking job. Hopefully you’ll agree.
Advance copies can be ordered here.
To give you a bit of a taster, here’s what the authors say about themselves:
CHRISTIAN CAMERON (also Miles Cameron) is a military veteran and a life-long re-enactor and history addict. He lives in Toronto, Canada with his wife and daughter and one cat. He writes three to five books a year, mostly about history. Christian can be found on his website at www.hippeis.com
LIBBIE HAWKER writes historical and literary fiction featuring complex characters and rich details of time and place. She is the author of more than a dozen novels, most of which are set in the distant past. Although the majority of her books are self-published, she also partners with Lake Union Publishing on select titles. She lives in the San Juan Islands of WashingtonState with her husband and two naughty cats. Visit Libbie Hawker’s web site: libbiehawker.com
KATE QUINN is the national bestselling author of the Empress of Rome saga and the Borgia Chronicles. Born in southern California, she attended BostonUniversity, where she earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Classical Voice while writing tales of ancient Rome to escape the New England winter. All her books have been translated into multiple languages. She and her husband now live in Maryland with two black dogs named Caesar and Calpurnia, and her interests include opera, action movies, cooking, and the Boston Red Sox. For more information, visit her at www.katequinnauthor.com
VICKY ALVEAR SHECTER is the award-winning author of historical fiction for young adults and adults. She also writes about ancient history and mythology for younger readers. Her novels include, Cleopatra’s Moon and Curses and Smoke: A Novel of Pompeii; her series for kids, Secrets of the Ancient Gods, explores Egyptian, Greek/Roman, and Norse mythology. She has served as a long-time docent at the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Antiquities at EmoryUniversity where she loves to share her passion for ancient history with visitors and school children. She lives in Atlanta with her husband, two almost-grown children, two weird cats and one lazy dog. Visit her at www.vickyalvearshecter.com.
STEPHANIE THORNTON has been obsessed with history’s forgotten women since she was twelve. She is the critically acclaimed author of four novels about infamous women from the ancient world: The Secret History, Daughter of the Gods, The Tiger Queens, and The Conqueror’s Wife. She is a high school history teacher by day and lives in Alaska with her husband, daughter, and two fat cats where she spends her free time hiking, travelling, and running. Visit her website at www.stephaniethornton.com.
SJA TURNEY lives with his wife, son and daughter, two dogs and two rabbits in rural Northern England surrounded by ancient remains that have influenced his entire world. A lifetime devotee of all thing historical, and Roman in particular, Simon has spent most of his adult life visiting ancient sites, studying the Roman world—and re-enacting it—and writing military adventure novels based on it. Bestselling author of the Marius’ Mules and Praetorian series of Roman fiction and the Ottoman Cycle and Tales of the Empire in non-Roman, Simon excels at bloodcurdling prose and fart jokes. www.sjaturney.co.uk
RUSSELL WHITFIELD was born in Shepherds Bush in 1971. An only child, he was raised in Hounslow, West London, but has since escaped to Ham in Surrey. Russell has had an (almost) life long fascination with ancient Greece and Rome, sparked by seeing the Three Hundred Spartans on ITV in the seventies. Educated to A-Level, he did not complete college, preferring instead to seek fame and fortune in a heavy metal band. Sadly, fame and fortune were not forthcoming and a career in telesales beckoned. A series of jobs followed culminating in the heady heights of ‘content editor’ for a large multi-national. Gladiatrix was Russ’s first novel, published in 2008 by Myrmidon Books. The sequel, Roma Victrix, continues the adventures Lysandra, the Spartan gladiatrix, and a third book, Imperatrix, sees Lysandra stepping out of the arena and onto the field of battle. Heavy Metal is Russ’s music of choice, though he was also in a goth band and thus has the obligatory Sisters of Mercy and Mission CD’s in his collection. He is a huge fan of the Swedish band Hysterica and has written a song for their second album “The Art of Metal.” www.russellwhitfield.com