Art plays a central role in my next novel, and since it's set in the eastern mediterranean in 1000 BCE, I've been doing some research. Aren't these beautiful?
This is a Cypriot tripod from the late bronze age (13th-12th century BCE):
This is a neo-Assyrian plaque in the Egyptian style from the 9th-8th century BCE:
Another neo-Assyrian plague from the same period, but in the Phoenician style:
And a Cypriot sculpture from the 14th-12th century BCE:
Research is one of the best parts of writing a book, I think. It's obviously important in historical novels, but I'd do research even if the novel was set on Antares in the year 2307. The more I research, the more ideas I get and the richer they become. There is so much information out there, and it's so easy to get to these days. These pictures come from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which I'd love to visit one day. (Yes, I dream often of going to New York. Recently, it's been centered on visiting the Scholastic building.) Here are pictures, taken by Lisa Yee, of the building I just mentioned.
The more time goes by, the more anxious I get about my last book. Is it good enough? Is it worthy? Did I send it out before it was really ready? Have they read it yet? The worries and questions go on and on, especially as I drift off to sleep. (Or try to sleep.) To be honest, I'm afraid to pick up Rohana and read through it--what if I spot a million errors or a way to fix something?
Speaking of which, I finished reading Elizabeth C. Bunce's book, A Curse Dark as Gold. I read it in almost one whole day because I could not put it down. It scares me that this woman can write so well (it particularly scares me because I've sent my little book in to the same imprint and editors). Anyway, I urge everyone to rush out and get it, and then devote a day or two to absorbing it. It's fantastic...the best book I've read in months.
Now, off to take a bath and read a book I've had to renew at the library: Our Only May Amelia.