B.K. Greenwood - Fantasy, Historical Fiction, and Techno-Thriller - The Perfect Hybrid
B.K. Greenwood lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife and wolf pack of 4 rescue dogs. He loves to travel and enjoys works of fiction and nonfiction, with a heavy emphasis on history, adventure, and classics. His passion for history is on display in his debut novel, The Last Roman: Exile. As our Author of the Day, he tells us all about it.
Please give us a short introduction to what The Last Roman: Exile is about.
The Last Roman tells the story of Marcus Sempronius Gracchus, a Roman soldier from 37 AD. Due to his involvement in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, he is cursed to live forever. The story is set in the modern-day, but roughly half the chapters are historical flashbacks that provide insights into character motivation and plot development. The primary antagonist is another immortal, the disciple Thomas (commonly known as Doubting Thomas). This is book one of a trilogy.
What inspired you to write about a Roman imperial officer who wakes up after dying in battle?
Honestly, it has been so long, and I am not sure about the initial inspiration for that idea. The book has been a work in progress for 20+ years, and although the ending and many of the scenes have changed, the main idea of an immortal character from the Roman period has always remained the same.
Tell us more about Marcus. What makes him so special?
Obviously, he is immortal. But the nature of his immortality is slightly different than many we have seen in the genre. He can be killed, but he is resurrected three days later. During those three days, he relives the most emotionally intense moments of his "original" life. Essentially, his life flashing before his eyes. That makes the loss of his family fresh and vivid each time he is killed, not just a two-thousand-year-old memory. How he manages those emotions and continues on is part of his character and journey.
How much research did this book require from you in order to make the history part of it feel authentic?
I do a lot of reading. I have always loved history and enjoy bringing the things I have learned to my readers. I like to put my characters into settings that have had a major influence on the course of civilization, then build my story around them. I think it makes history fun.
Your book contains a lot of references from the Bible. Why did you take this approach?
It was a necessary part of the origin story. But, at heart, this is not a story about religion. It's a story of relationships and how people change over time, especially when traumatic events impact their lives. I would say religion is more of the backdrop, not the focus.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
I somehow managed to end up with four rescue dogs! They are a handful, but each one brings their unique personality to our household.
What do you hope readers will take away from this story?
I hope they enjoy the fast-paced action, the journey through various parts of history. And that they become attached to the main characters, at least enough to want to see their journey continue in books two and three!
What was your greatest challenge when writing The Last Roman?
Marketing. Getting your book and brand out to a broad audience is daunting and can be very intimidating. I have learned a lot and still have a ton to learn. But it is a slow grind and worth the effort!
Which character did you have the most fun with?
Sam, Marcus's female "sidekick". I used a lot of my relationship with my daughter to build her personality. She is intelligent, sarcastic, and sassy. Everything I love about my daughter!
Tell us more about the cover and how it came about.
Great question! This was my third try. I was not able to find the right vibe, and ran into some copyright challenges. Then a member of my family found this cover designer in Serbia (Thanks, Jess!). Dusan is an amazing artist, and book two cover is already done! I cannot wait to start book three cover as well.
Where does your passion for history come from?
Reading. I read voraciously as a kid and teenager. I could never get enough. That was the foundation for my fascination with history.
Do you have any interesting writing habits? What is an average writing day like for you?
Not that interesting. I try to do 2 hours a day of writing or editing. But with the book launch, I can say I have fallen short the last month or so. I am hoping to ramp up the intensity!
What are you working on right now?
Book Two (Abyss) goes to the editor in about two weeks, and I hope it will launch in late August. I have also started book three, and that should be out in November.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
They can check out my website: www.bkgreenwood.com
I am also on all major social media platforms.
Instagram and twitter: bkgreenwood70