Previous entries have described my novel, Bulla Felix: The Roman Robin Hood. This book started as a movie script, covering Bulla’s life from his banishment from Rome to the death of his arch enemy the emperor Severus in Britannia.
On the slim chance that this 100 million dollar blockbuster movie will never be made – and to improve the chances that it will – I’ve published the updated script as an inexpensive paperback ($3.95) and as a 99 cent ebook. I do think it would make an exciting and satisfying movie – after having watched it in my imagination many times (no budget restraints there).
Many recent films have dealt with Roman interactions with the Celtic people of northern Britain (e.g. The Eagle, Centurion, King Arthur, The Last Legion). There seems to be a fascination with the Wild-West-like struggle between the “noble savage” (the Celtic barbarian) and the advanced but corrupt Roman Empire. This script describes a historical drama that arose from the last serious attempt (in the early 200′s) by the Romans to conquer the whole island.
As promised – and sooner than expected – my children’s book about the Roman empresses is now available on Amazon. I’ve kept the price down to $11.99. It’s a slim volume at 60 pages, but with 12 full-color, full-page portraits (7.5 x 9.25), and the stories are easy to read – at a level appropriate for older children (10 and up). I think the book will appeal to anyone interested in history and/or women’s studies.
Am making good progress on my new book about the Roman empresses and expect to offer it for sale by mid-summer (or sooner). “Stories of the ROMAN EMPRESSES and other royal Roman women” will contain 12 full-color portraits of the following: Livia, Antonia, the two Agrippinas, Domitia, Plotina, Sabina, the two Faustinas, Julia Domna, Julia Mamaea, and Helena. I have completed the text and am now working on coloring Faustina I (number 8 of 12).
Unlike my previous book on the empresses (Great Women of Imperial Rome), this book does not present full biographies. Rather, it consists of stories taken from the lives of these women, written at a level appropriate for anyone aged 12 and up. Also included is a list of Roman emperors and their women from 27 BC to AD 337 and an introduction that briefly describes the lot of women in general in the Roman Empire.
I hope to be able to offer the full-color book at a reasonable price – probably $13.99 – through Amazon and others. Stay posted for an announcement of its availability!
This one is a collection of quotes from many times and cultures dealing with 23 topics – desire, death, man and woman, anger and hatred, love, meditation, God, etc., etc. The idea is to show that wise men and women from all traditions say the same things – often in the same words, after translation.
The illustrations are my own – sometimes straightforward visual comments on the topic at hand; sometimes abstract (or just plain weird) impressions that came from my subconscious but seem to be relevant. The artwork won’t appeal to everyone, but the words should – or at least most of them. There is so much emphasis on the differences between religions, philosophies, and cultures – it seems worthwhile to highlight the many things they have in common, at least in the minds of the wise. It’s priced reasonably and available here.
As promised, my children’s book is now available on Amazon. Only on Amazon so far, as it is published through their CreateSpace on demand printing service. They take a sizable chunk (of course), so I’ve had to price it at $11.99, but I think they did a good job and am pleased with the product. It’s 48 pages long with 30 full-color drawings. I think the reading level is about 3rd grade, but the story should appeal to younger children – as well as anyone who is intrigued by fossils and/or the beach.
Coloring the pictures really brought back memories of my childhood euphoria at Holden Beach. I could almost smell the salt air and hear the surf. What bliss those days were – and so many dear people I shared them with now gone – Uncle Dabney, Gram, Aunt Ann, Mom, Aunt Margie, Cousin Mary. Along with Dad, Uncle Rudi, Aunt Mary, and Cousin Gordon, they sure made vacation at the seashore into heaven for me, my brothers, and cousins.
A few words about books I’m working on. In 1993, I wrote a children’s book entitled “The Magic Beach”. Based on childhood experiences, it tells the tale of two children – a boy and a girl – who encounter prehistoric animals at a modern beach after being shown some fossils that were found there. They meet a plesiosaur, Ankylosaurus, trilobites, and other prehistoric animals before returning to the modern world.
The original drawings are in black and white – not very exciting for kids these days. So I am busy colorizing scans of them in PhotoShop. I’m more than halfway through and should be ready to go to press sometime this spring. Since I wrote the book, other publications entitled “The Magic Beach” have appeared. For that reason – and for clarity – I have renamed the book FOSSIL BEACH.
Another project is a book for older children or young adults based on my publication “Great Women of Imperial Rome”. As described in an earlier blog, that title is languishing in the world of textbooks without anyone to assign it to a class (I am not a professor). The book is expensive and the pictures (the best part, in my opinion) are reproduced in black and white and in a fairly small format. I am now working on a new book to feature my drawings, entitled “STORIES OF THE ROMAN EMPRESSES AND OTHER ROYAL ROMAN WOMEN”. It will feature one story from each of the lives of twelve imperial woman (all but two are empresses), accompanied by colorized versions of my pencil portraits. Coloring will take time and will come after the completion of the “beach” book; publication will probably be near the end of this year.
Meanwhile, BULLA FELIX is beginning to sell since its publication, especially as an ebook. No doubt, this is partially due to the positive review it received on Amazon from a kind gentleman in Australia. And no, I do not know him.
Just finished writing my third novel – the story of the ancient Roman outlaw, Bulla Felix. All we know about Bulla comes from an epitome, or summary, of the history written by Cassius Dio in the early 3rd Century A.D. In English translation, this account is only about 600 words long. Nevertheless, it is very intriguing – especially because of its parallels with the story of the English Robin Hood, who supposedly lived 1000 years later and whose chroniclers, it is assumed, could have had no knowledge of his predecessor as Dio’s writings were not available in Western Europe until fairly recent times. Like the Robin Hood of legend, Bulla was crafty, resourceful, a master of disguise and the narrow escape – and he stole from the rich and gave to the poor.
By fleshing out the information given by Cassius Dio and adding some imaginary exploits – including a role in some of the outstanding historical events of his times – I have tried to bring Bulla and his world to life. Some features of the story:
1) The opposition of Bulla and his band of 600 men to the policies of the emperor Septimius Severus.
2) Septimius Severus’s attempt to conquer Scotland and eradicate its barbarian inhabitants.
3) The murderous career of Severus’s son and heir, the emperor Caracalla, who massacred tens of thousands in a macabre quest to obtain magical powers.
4) The beautiful and brilliant empress Julia Domna and her possible role in Caracalla’s assassination.
5) The exotic cults of Roman times, involving human sacrifice and other bizarre rituals.
6) The Roman fascination with eastern mysticism, highlighted by a sojourn in India.