Long Ago and Far Away in Hollywoodland

Today marks the launch of Fortune’s Child in paperback. The e-book is on pre-order and will launch October 27th. The hardcover is now available.

I’m embarrassed to say how long I’ve been working on this story of Empress Theodora. I started it when I lived in Hollywood decades ago. An agent who was trying to sell an incomplete Push Not the River told me to start working on something else. As it happened, I was taking an Art Appreciation course at a community college. One day we were studying the exquisite mosaics of Emperor Justinian and Empress Theodora from the Basilica di San Vitale in Ravenna, Italy, and the professor pointed to Theodora and said, “I’m not a writer, but if I were, that is the woman I would write about.”

Little did he know what he had unloosed.

I went down to the Hollywood Public Library and took out at least a dozen books on the period and the reign of Justinian and Theodora. The empress seemed to me like the Eva Peron of the sixth century, and I was hooked. I made a good start on her story, but life threw some curves. I went back to finishing Push Not the River, but when it didn’t sell, other agents came and went. One publisher held on to it for two years. I returned to teaching and the years passed. When St. Martin’s Press picked up Push Not the River in 2003, I figured my Theodora book would follow. Ah~but St. Martin’s wanted a sequel, so that led to other books and more years.

Fate goes ever as it must.

So~now Theodora is getting her just due. Please give Fortune’s Child a chance.

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