—a blog—

When Rubies of the Viper was published, I created a free-standing, novel-oriented blog, The Purple Parchment. I liked that name so much that I decided to keep it when I imported its posts into this website. New posts will be added as my writing schedule permits.

I’ve organized my blog posts into three categories.

Section 1: FASCINATING FACTS covers a variety of subjects related to the first century: agriculture, cities, houses, language, rural places, slavery, travel, women, etc.

Section 2: CHARACTERS gives insights into the historical characters—Nero, Otho (on the coin), Poppaea Sabina (at right), and the Flavians: Vespasian, Titus, Domitian, and Flavia Domitilla—and the fictional characters—Theodosia, Alexander, Stefan, Nikolaos—who populate my novels.

Section 3: WRITING CHALLENGES discusses issues that arise in the course of writing historical fiction, problems to be solved, etc. Writers deal with people who actually lived long ago (Real People in Historical Fiction) and often struggle to make their ancient speech sound right, even when written in modern English (Avoiding Jabberwocky and So, how would they talk?)

Except as noted, all blog content is © Martha Marks.