Many of us came to a love of the classics after reading historical fiction set in the ancient world. Unfortunately, most modern publishers are seeking the next big dystopia like Hunger Games or fantasy like Harry Potter. That why I’m asking those who have read my book–Curses and Smoke: A Novel of Pompeii-–and enjoyed it, to consider voting for it via this survey for the Teen Choice Book Awards. (you don’t have to be a teenager to vote–the designation is for the category of teen books). If you’re a teacher and you have students who have read it and enjoyed it, I’d appreciate it if you encouraged them to vote for Curses and Smoke as well.
Now, I’m under no delusion that my Pompeii novel is a contender, but I’m hoping that a good showing will help convince publishers that there really is a need for (and interest in) books for teens set in the ancient world.
As for me, I first fell in love with ancient history through Mary Renault’s work. I still remember the feeling of being swept away with her series on Alexander the Great. At the time, though, there wasn’t much else available. I read some of Taylor Caldwell’s books on Cicero. I also d fell in love with The Far Arena, by Richard Sapir (which still holds up all these decades later, by the way).
These days, readers have many more options: For younger kids, there is Caroline Lawrence’s excellent The Roman Mysteries series as well as Judith Geary’s Getorix series. For adult books, we have Steven Saylor, Ruth Downey, Gary Corby, Kate Quinn, Stephanie Dray, Ben Kane, Stephanie Thornton (I can’t wait for her upcoming book on the women in Alexander’s life–how I love Olympias!), Bruce McBain, Simon Scarrow and others.
But there is not that much available specifically for teens.
So, any support you can provide will be greatly appreciated. Again, the link for voting is: https://www.surveymonkey.com/