Welcome to a week long celebration of the work of acclaimed novelist Lindsey Davis. Today I am pleased to present a guest post written by Lindsey Davis about Longevity.
Keep a look out for posts littered across the blogosphere about Lindsey Davis, with Lisa at Reading Room With A View tomorrow.
Lindsey Davis is a historical novelist, best known for her Roman Detective Falco series. Her latest book is The Graveyard of Hesperides and is published by Hodder and Stoughton on 14 April 2016.
How does it feel to have 30 books under the belt? Is it difficult to keep a series about the Roman Empire going for so long? How much research does this involve? And has the Roman Empire changed much between the Falco series and the Flavia Albia series? Would you leave the Roman Empire again to go in other directions?
It really doesn’t feel as if I’ve been writing for over 30 years. Obviously I am very proud to have so many books behind me and in fact see no reason why there shouldn’t eventually be significantly more.
There is ample material to explore in the Roman world, even though my research has been ongoing all my writing life. I went to a good school. I am thorough. You don’t just look up one set of facts for each book, you need to immerse yourself. You don’t know what you’re looking for until you find something interesting either.
I did decide that 20 Falco books was enough. One would be bound to get stale writing about the same people and places. I think Falco and Helena deserve some rest and privacy (even if they are now being seen through the eyes of their children) – and I deserved new challenges. I have written standalone novels, which tend to be in the third person rather than the first, which makes a change technically, and now I am doing Flavia Albia. I deliberately set this new series 12 years after the last Falco novel so she would be mature. I really didn’t want to write about a teenager learning her craft. So we are now in the dark reign of Domitian, a very different prospect from the years of amiable, tolerant Vespasian. With a different background, a different viewpoint from the main character, and different themes, I believe there is the best of all worlds for both writer and readers.
I would have a go at other kinds of book if I wanted to, was allowed to, the time was right, an idea came to me. I wouldn’t have to be permanent, any more than it has been when I’ve written about the English Civil War, or the Falco Companion which is non-fiction, or Master and God.
The links to the rest of the articles in the Lindsey Davis Blog Tour
Reading Room With a View Characterisation
Off the Shelf book review Dialogue in historical fiction
Espresso Coco The Editorial Process
Steph’s Book Blog Feminism in Historical Fiction