Welcome to the Riptide Publishing / Lisa Henry blog tour for He Is Worthy, part of the Warriors of Rome collection now available. The collection is available for pre-order here, as a collection or individually, and all pre-orders enter you in a drawing to win a Nook Simple Touch.
Every comment on this blog tour enters you in the draw for a copy of my two previous eBooks—Tribute and The Island—and a $10 Riptide Publishing credit. Entries close at midnight, U.S. Eastern time, on November 18, and winners will be announced the next day. The contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries.
First I’d like to say thanks to Kathy for hosting me on her awesome site. And then I’d like to answer the question that a friend of mine asked me when I was hunched over my laptop at all hours of the day and night, my desk piled high with reference books. (Remember those? They were the big, dusty things that we had before Wikipedia.)
This was the question: “You’re writing a story set in Ancient Rome? Why?”
So here’s the answer:
I Heart History.
A gazillion years ago when I was at high school, I didn’t really want to study Ancient History. It was that or another maths subject though, and I’m not a total masochist. (Note to self: mathsochist — make this a word.) So hello, Romans!
The textbook was awful. The world it described seemed utterly sterile and lifeless. The book was full of black and white photos of marble busts, names of emperors, and dates—so many dates! The B.C. ones went backwards as well, which I think was done just to confuse us. And what was the point of knowing the names of the Julio-Claudian emperors? It was booooring. I didn’t want to read it. I wanted to sneak out and bum a cigarette off that hot Islander boy who hung out in the car park.
I hated Ancient History.
I totally intended to hate Ancient History.
But there was something in that class that I hadn’t expected: an enthusiastic teacher. She showed me how to see past the boring bits.
Dig a little deeper into Roman history, and you’ll find the good stuff. You’ll find a vibrant world full of colour: shop awnings, stolas, painted facades, and such filthy graffiti that you’ll fall instantly in love. Rome isn’t about pompous men in togas sprouting dull Latin maxims, Rome is about the people, and as Obi Wan tells Luke: You won’t find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. Cue jazzy cantina music.
For forty minutes every day at school, I wasn’t sitting in a sweltering classroom in tropical northern Australia. For forty minutes I was in Ancient Rome, soaking up absolutely every detail I could of that vast, amazing world that had more backstabbing and double-crossing than a daytime soap, more adult situations than a European film festival, and more senseless violence than Grand Theft Auto. It was everything a teenager could want.
It’s been a while since high school, but my love of history in general—and Ancient Rome in particular—hasn’t diminished.
So, Miss Faithful, if you’re reading this, I’d like to say thanks for opening up a whole new world for me.
And Noah, if you’re reading this, I hope you’re still hot. And I hope you gave up smoking. It’s really, really bad for you.
Lisa lives in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She doesn’t know why, because she hates the heat, but she suspects she’s too lazy to move. She spends half her time slaving away as a government minion, and the other half plotting her escape.
She attended university at sixteen, not because she was a child prodigy or anything, but because of a mix-up between international school systems early in life. She studied History and English, neither of them very thoroughly.
She shares her house a long-suffering partner, too many cats, a dog, a green tree frog that swims in the toilet, and as many possums as can break in every night. This is not how she imagined life as a grown-up.
Rome, 68 A.D. Novius Senna is one of the most feared men in Rome. He’s part of the emperor’s inner circle at a time when being Nero’s friend is almost as dangerous as being his enemy. Senna knows that better men than he have been sacrificed to Nero’s madness—he’s the one who tells them to fall on their swords. He hates what he’s become to keep his family safe. He hates Nero more.
Aenor is a newly-enslaved Bructeri trader, brutalized and humiliated for Nero’s entertainment. He’s homesick and frightened, but not entirely cowed. He’s also exactly what Senna has been looking for: a slave strong enough to help him assassinate Nero.
It’s suicide, but it’s worth it. Senna yearns to rid Rome of a tyrant, and nothing short of death will bring him peace for his crimes. Aenor hungers for revenge, and dying is his only escape from Rome’s tyranny. They have nothing left to lose, except the one thing they never expected to find—each other.
You can buy He Is Worthy or read an excerpt here.
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6. Every comment on this blog tour enters you in the draw for a copy of Ms. Henry’s previous eBooks—Tribute and The Island—and a $10 Riptide Publishing credit. Entries close at midnight, U.S. Eastern time, on November 18, and winners will be announced the next day. The contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries.