When I decided to write a mainstream historical fiction book about Thomas Jefferson’s daughter Patsy, it was in part, because of my continued frustration with people in our country who refuse to believe, even with DNA evidence, that Thomas Jefferson initiated sex with his slave, Sally Hemings, most probably when she was fifteen.
It has been my ambition, from start to finish with this project, to shed light on the devastation of slavery–a devastation that became more and more evident as we researched. And to make clear that the scars of that devastation are still evident today in our politics and our culture.
Racial justice is something that I feel deeply about. Something that I think deeply about.
But apparently not deeply enough.
Because after editing this book, I made a joke–which I won’t repeat in the interest of not offering new offense–thinking I was mocking our culture’s casual acceptance of women’s lack of consent in sexual circumstances.
Instead, I hurt people and sent a message that goes against everything that I’m about. It undercut what I’m trying to accomplish with my work. And with my life.
I’m a writer; it’s my job to pay attention to what my words are actually communicating. And I’m bitterly disappointed in myself for communicating in any way that would trivialize the very matters I feel most passionately about.
To that end, the post has been removed. I would like to extend my heartfelt apology. And I thank those of you who made me take a hard look at this.
I was wrong.
It will not happen again.
The kind and talented historical fiction author Kate Quinn and her heroic servicemen of a husband (aka. Overseas Gladiator) suffered a house fire this week. Everyone, including the dog, was lucky to escape alive, but Kate was hospitalized briefly after having been blown down the stairs in a backdraft. She’s recovering now but the damage to the house was extensive. Her author friends in the historical and romance communities have banded together to raise money to help her replace all she’s lost.
(In the meantime, if you love Roman praetorians and empresses–and who doesn’t?–you can also help while getting a great book by pre-ordering her forthcoming novel, LADY OF THE ETERNAL CITY .)
Happy New Year! I’m pleased to let everyone know that for a limited time, my fabulous co-authored six part novel, A DAY OF FIRE is available for only pennies. It’s so good, y’all! It’s been getting rave reviews, and has been chosen for several ‘Best Read of the Year’ lists. I couldn’t be prouder. I’d be honored if you’d help spread the word!
At long last, this riveting story about the final days of Pompeii is available in e-book and print!
“This truly is the finest book I have read this year, an emotional roller-coaster that educates while it entertains. Its impact will stay with me for quite some time.” ~Parmenion Books
“Despite knowing what happens in Pompeii and to the majority of its citizens, A Day of Fire is a book full of suspense, fear, and unexpected bravery.” ~Ageless Pages
“I can’t praise this book highly enough. It’s a rattling good tale of disaster, death, resolution and rebirth.” ~Dodging Arrows
“I LOVED this! The writing style, the choice of stories told, the evolution of characters, the drama. I couldn’t have asked for anything better.” ~The Maiden’s Court
“Each one of these authors deserves a huge amount of praise for putting this impressive piece of art together.” ~Steven McKay
Pompeii was a lively resort flourishing in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius at the height of the Roman Empire. When Vesuvius erupted in an explosion of flame and ash, the entire town would be destroyed. Some of its citizens died in the chaos, some escaped the mountain’s wrath . . . and these are their stories:
A boy loses his innocence in Pompeii’s flourishing streets.
An heiress dreads her wedding day, not knowing it will be swallowed by fire.
An ex-legionary stakes his entire future on a gladiator bout destined never to be finished.
A crippled senator welcomes death, until a tomboy on horseback comes to his rescue.
A young mother faces an impossible choice for her unborn child as the ash falls.
A priestess and a whore seek redemption and resurrection as the town is buried.
Six authors bring to life overlapping stories of patricians and slaves, warriors and politicians, villains and heroes who cross each others’ path during Pompeii’s fiery end. But who will escape, and who will be buried for eternity?