This post isn’t a book review of any kind – I romped through Mistress of Rome over that Christmas and though I entered it into my Reading Journal, I didn’t write much ’cause I hadn’t taken the time to think critically! I love being so immersed in a story that you feel it, you don’t think it – and this sense of indulgence lends itself to the re-read very well, as you tend not remember details, only how it made you feel and so you rediscover it as you go along!
Mistress of Rome opened a trilogy and I’ve bought the second book, Daughters of Rome – I began it last year but wasn’t in the best mood to be reading, to be honest; I was restless, sidetracked, and remember thinking I wasn’t getting the best out of Daughters, and it wasn’t getting the best of me...so I put it back on the shelf to come back to. Oops, I haven’t yet – but I will!
Looking on Kate Quinn’s website – http://www.katequinnauthor.com/index.htm – I found that the last book has recently been published and is a sequel to Mistress, whereas Daughters was a prequel. Empress of Rome is out in the UK on the 19th July so I’ll have to wait to see what happens...allowing me time to give Daughters another go! While I was having a nose, the ‘Whoops’ link grabbed my attention...and a quick click found me saying, “Fair Play, Ms Author!”
See, the thing about writing historical fiction of any era is that it is about history – we weren’t there, we weren’t living their shorthand of society...and so some things will be an honest oops, written in error. Yet there are always people who notice and complain... My Dad does this with TV shows – he loves spotting the continuity errors, moments when someone is holding a mug in one hand then it swaps to the other, that kind of thing. Me, I’m usually so deeply into the created world that I don’t notice, and find it distracting (and often amusing, to be fair!) when he crows about it.
But, unlike so many, Kate freely admits these oops moments on her website – and invites those mistake-spotters to let her know if she’s missed any...! Have a look and enjoy her confessions – http://www.katequinnauthor.com/events.htm . I particularly like her in-joke of a pun on the Roman word ‘vomitorium’, it being anything other what it sounds like – this literary nudge-and-giggle is something we writers like to do, but it seems that not everyone finds it funny...!
I continue to say “Fair Play” to Kate, though, and thank her too – I’ve learned a trick for my (published!) writing future, as well as for general life:
Aim to get things right but when the inevitable happens, admit your wrongs in an open, amusing and accepting way, for we are all human and no one is perfect...