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What inspired you to write the Mark of the Thief trilogy?
The story began with me stumbling on an unusual fact about Ancient Rome - the empire Julius Caesar used to claim that he had descended from the Gods. It was done to make him seem more powerful, more worthy of the throne, but I got to thinking, “What if Caesar was telling the truth?” That would have made him a demigod. And what if his magic was lost after his assassination, only to be discovered decades later by a boy from the lowest rungs of Roman society, a mining slave?
How did you get published?
It started with me being a terrible writer, then as I continued to work, eventually I was just awful, then bad, then I was all right. Eventually, I wrote a story that got me an agent, and then it got me a publisher. Honestly, I had a long and difficult journey toward publication, one filled with many ups and downs, but I am proof that with enough hard work and tenacity, anyone can get published.
What was your favorite subject in class?
My three favorites were theater, speech, and history, and in hindsight, all three have served me well. The theater taught me to understand character and the importance of a three-act structure. Speech taught me the power of language and how to present myself to others. History taught me about the greatest stories throughout time, and how to use their lessons for both my real stories, and as fuel for my fantasy stories.
What's your favorite book?
Hard to choose! I think my all-time favorite book is probably HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE, not only because its an incredible achievement in literature, but also because JK Rowling did it while under so much pressure from an international audience of readers.
Who is your favorite character in Wrath of the Storm?
Ooh - that’s so difficult. I admire Aurelia for her strength, Crispus for his loyalty, Radulf for the courage to change, and Livia for retaining her kindness amidst so many difficulties. However, I have a lot of love for Nic, who grows so much during the series and finds himself in so many wonderful ways.