Monday, January 19, 2015

Interview with Gregory Lloyd - author of "The Sword of Agrippa: Antioch"

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1.  I saw something that this story came to you from dreams that you were having.  Can you elaborate on this?  Is it something you consciously tried to do first or did it just happen?  I am very interested in this!
More than ten years ago I started having very vivid dreams, starting with ancient battles in woods.  Some were quite painful to watch and others exhilarating.  Over time I would see a broader mix of activities, like: caravans of camels passing through an old city, packed with fabrics and spices; temples being built; and long marches.  

I started researching Roman history and lucid dreaming to find meaning to these powerful dreams, some of which would wake me up in the middle of the night.  As I studied ancient Alexandria the dreams became even more powerful, especially after I discovered a work of fiction set there.

2.  How much research did you have to do for the background and plot lines for Sword of Agrippa: Antioch?

Most of the scenes came from dream states. I found two biographies that were interesting, but not conclusive.  I was looking for historical evidence at first that Agrippa had not been to places I had dreamed about.  I did not find anything conclusive regarding his visit as a young teen to Alexandria for example.  But I thought it made for an interesting premise.  Same with his understanding of advanced naval ship design, warfare, etc.  I read through a few books, nothing anyone would consider rigorous.

3.  So you have scientists on one side, religion on the other, and people getting squeezed in between - where do you see yourself falling?

I would love to live in a world where science and spirituality are both compatible and respected.

4.  I saw that you had a Kickstarter campaign for this book.  Obviously it went well enough for you to finish it.  Is that an avenue you would recommend to other authors, especially indie or self published authors?

Absolutely.  It gave me certain advantages in finding an audience and raising funds for editorial support.

5.  Which character in your book can you most relate with in real life?  Which one would you love to sit down for lunch and a conversation?

Agrippa.  I developed a deeper respect for his accomplishments as I researched.

6.  What do you know now that you wish you knew before you wrote your first book?  What advice would you have given yourself? 

Start on promotion after the first book is complete, versus trying to build an audience chapter by chapter. I think it is much harder for a multi-genre to build by chapter...than say a straight fantasy or sci fi.

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