I initially had a lot of trouble deciding on January’s book.
I thought it would be the ‘friends and family’ volume, and had vaguely planned to email everyone I was close to over the Christmas period to ask for ideas. However, as soon as I sat down to compose said email, I knew it wasn’t going to work. Different people were bound to want different genres, which would mean a random cacophony of characters and plot ideas more convoluted than a local authority newsletter.
What I needed was a structure – perhaps I could begin with a genre and expand it from there? This is the format I have opted to go with, as you can see from the ‘get involved’ page. However, January is immediate and looming and tangible; so close I can almost smell Snowmageddon 2: Snow Harder. And I didn’t want to nag people for their ideas over the holidays lest they had been watching too many heartwarming Richard Curtis movies and ended up insisting I write a family saga about an English Rose with a heart of gold. I’m not ready to become Joan Jonker just yet.
The solution, as it turned out, had been offered by my sister about ten seconds after I explained the project to her towards the end of November. She thought about it for a couple of minutes, then looked at me and said “Caligula’s Blog.”
I almost dismissed it out of hand because it was too perfect a pitch. It was a ready formed concept – all I’d have to do is research the life of Caligula and some Roman history, then write it. Bam. So much for the group participation stuff.
As it turns out, it’s the perfect first book for this project, because whilst I’m researching and writing it I can get this site off the ground and publicise the project so that I have something to work with for the coming months. With that in mind, I have downloaded Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of The Roman Empire to my phone in five volumes, as well as the Caligula volume of Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus’s Lives of The Twelve Caesars which had a rather lovely comment about the legs of one of Emperor Tiberius’s generals… I am currently trying to source a copy of I, Claudius from the library and have been told to check out Plutarch’s Lives, but if you know any other useful source material, please leave a comment!