In all the time I have spent writing or otherwise preparing for the publication of my book, I have thought little of marketing it or building up some hype for Augusta. Seeing as I’m waiting for a friend to complete the design for the cover before I can finish my self-publication, I thought that might buy me some time to remedy this aforementioned error via blogosophical (I’m just gonna’ coin that word now and claim it as my own) musings. Hopefully you’ll be amused enough by my ramblings to continue on with the reading once I am published.
Augusta: The Lost Epic of Rome’s Last Days would be most appropriately classified as a historical fantasy. The setting and much of the story itself is heavily dependent upon the real-world affairs of the mid-fifth century- when Attila the Hun is running around poking everybody with pointy objects- and many of the characters in Augusta are fictionalized portrayals of real people, including the central protagonist herself. The fantastical elements of this book also draw heavy inspiration from real-world elements: Greco-Roman myth, later Norse legends, Bronze Age history and languages, and a bit of palaeontology.
Did I mention there were dinosaurs in this thing? Because there are.
When you first open the book, you will find that it isn’t formatted quite like a typical novel, and that is because I have elected to arrange and present it as if it was a lost epic written some fifteen hundred years ago in a fictional language and translated by yours truly. There are some translator’s notes, a glossary, and like all good epics it begins in media res, opening with an invocation to the Muse.
Let me recall now the memories of she
Who caused the world to burn, yet to it
Offered quenching waters to soothe its pain.
Exiled from Ravenna’s heights, by long labors
She traversed the earth’s wide expanses
Until she saw the Land of Dragons,
Older than human empires, and from there went
To contest the Scourge of God,
Met him in hateful contest and settled there
The strifes of our age.
Relate, my Muse, to posterity the causes of our pain,
And let her legacy live on,
She- though condemned in life as an exile-
May gain her well deserved respect in a future epoch.
There are several reasons why I choose to go about my book like this, the first being simply that I thought it would be fun. Secondly, when constructing a fantastical narrative, I prefer keeping it grounded in some sort of historical flow, and loosely following after a historical narrative tradition was but one way of many to go about that. I also thought it allowed me an easier balance between world-building and story-telling than what I originally had planned. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I have writing it.
That, however, that only time will tell.