Hello, everyone! As you know, I read Pompeii: City on Fire a couple of months ago, and reviewed it...read my review here. I thought it was a great book, and so I contacted T. L. Higley for an interview! It made my day when she agreed, and here she is with a wonderful interview! And read the whole thing...a giveaway for another of her books follows. :)
Welcome, Tracy! I’m so glad to be talking with you about your book, Pompeii: City of Fire. Could you please give us a little auto-biography?
I started my first novel at the age of eight and have been hooked on writing ever since. From my earliest childhood, there was nothing I loved better than stepping into another world between the pages of a book. From dragons and knights, to the wonders of Narnia, that passion has never abated, and to me, opening any novel is like stepping again through the wardrobe, into the thrilling unknown. With every book I write, I want to open a door like that, and invite readers to be transported with me into a place that captivates.
A lifelong interest in history and mythology has led me to extensive research into ancient Greece, Egypt and Rome, and shaped my desire to shine the light of the gospel into the cultures of the past.
I’ve traveled through Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Italy, researching my novels and falling into adventures!
And thought I haven't read most of your books, I'm sure that Pompeii required a lot of research! Please tell us a little bit about the plot of Pompeii.
Sure! Here’s the info from the back cover:
Pleasure-seeking Romans find the seaside town of Pompeii the perfect getaway, and when the rich patrician Cato escapes Rome, intent on a life of leisure, he is unprepared for the hostility he encounters. For Ariella, disguised as a young boy and sold into a gladiator troupe, survival is her only ambition.
But evil creeps through the streets of Pompeii and neither Ariella’s secret nor Cato’s evasion are safe. Political corruption, religious persecution and family peril threaten to destroy them, even before the mountain spews its fire.
As Vesuvius churns with deadly intent, the two must bridge their differences to save the lives of those they love, before the fiery ash buries Pompeii, and leaves the city lost to the world.
What was your favorite part of Pompeii to write?
I loved the arena scenes, where Ariella gets to flex her muscles! It was also fun to chart out the actual eruption of Vesuvius and the effects of it, and to incorporate that real history into the story.
What gave you the idea, or inspired you to write Pompeii?
I think we’re all intrigued with the idea of “lost cities” – a civilization that disappeared overnight. I thought it would be great fun to speculate about the final days of that amazing city.
I know I think lost cities are very interesting! Is there any special story about the cover?
When I first saw the cover, I had to do a bit of research, to make sure that chain mail was actually in existence in ancient Rome. It was, though probably not widely used. But I loved the way Ariella still looks like a woman on the cover, even though her hair is cut short under that chain mail!
If Pompeii was being made into a movie, which actors would you like to take the main characters?
I’d make Nathan Fillion play Cato! And perhaps Stana Katic, who plays opposite Fillion on Castle, could play Ariella.
Wow, yeah, that Nathan Fillion guy looks perfect for the part! You have another book coming out this May, correct? Called Garden of Madness? Would you like to tell us a bit about it?
Garden of Madness is set in ancient Babylon, at the end of Nebuchadnezzar’s seven years of madness, and stars Nebuchadnezzar’s daughter. There are plots to take over the throne, dark family secrets, sinister magi and a romance. Lots of fun!
I must admit, that sounds riveting! Can't wait to read it. :) Your biggest fan and supporter is…
I have lots of support, but probably my biggest fan/supporter is my mom. She even reads my books twice!
What is your favorite time period to read about? How about to write about?
I love ancient history, especially Persia and Arabian countries.
If you could visit any country, continent, or place, where would you go and why?
I’ve done a good bit of traveling for research, including Greece, Egypt, Italy, Jordan, Israel and Turkey. I’m hoping to get back to many of those places, to explore the ruins all over again.
What’s a book you recently enjoyed reading?
I just finished Madeleine L’Engle’s Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art. It was quite
What’s your favorite classic book?
Jane Eyre. No question. I’ve read it about a dozen times!
Jane Eyre is a pretty cool book. :) Thanks so much for coming, Tracy! How can our readers learn more about you, or contact you?
Thanks for the interview, Charity! I’d love to meet up with your readers on my website: www.tracyhigley.com, or on www.facebook.com/tlhigley
Awesome! Thanks again! And we're back to just me.
Tracy has kindly offered to giveaway a copy of one of her books! The book we decided on is the book that kind of (I think) goes with this one, Petra: City in Stone. I haven't gotten to read it yet, but it's on my list!
Thanks so much for this giveaway, Tracy! Readers, all you have to do to enter is comment and say you'd like to be entered. For extra entries...
+1 -- Tell me if you've read any of Tracy's books before, and if so, which ones.
+3 -- Blog about this giveaway. (not twitter, not facebook)
+2 -- Follow this blog, Austenitis.
+1 -- Have my blog button on your blog. It's on the right sidebar.
+1 -- I'm your friend (or you've invited me to be your friend) on goodreads.com .
That's it, folks! Lots of entries you can earn. :) You don't have to leave an email address, but you can if you want. I'll contact you sooner that way if you win. The giveaway closes on March 30, at midnight.