The morning I received the call from Executive Editor Angela James about Mask of the Gladiator, things at my house were pretty crazy. We had a contractor, a landscaper, a bobcat driver and an air duct cleaner all working on the house at the same time. While dealing with them, we were also trying to watch our toddler. All of this happened in a four hour period, and by noon, all the workers were gone and three different family members called to say they were now free to watch our little one.
Isn’t it amazing how things in life are either all or nothing? You are either completely slammed or it is so quiet you can hear the crickets chirping. I live for the quiet days but there is a kind of excitement and sense of accomplishment in the busy ones. At the end of a hectic day, I collapse in a chair and congratulate myself for handling everything and keeping my cool in the midst of the insanity. Or I mix up a margarita and vow never to pack so much into one day again.
Packing a lot into a small amount of time is how I approached Mask of the Gladiator. I liked the idea of placing two people in a fast paced situation where life and death decisions have to be made in an instant and the characters must stay on their toes in order to survive. Setting these events in the context of a real historical situation, the assassination of Emperor Caligula, allowed me to indulge my love of history. I particularly enjoyed reading ancient sources like Josephus while weaving my fictional characters into the historical events.
Thankfully, the craziness surrounding the writing and sale of Mask of the Gladiator didn’t involve any life or death decisions. Those came later when I picked out which plants to put in the yard, or, as my family likes to say, which plants I sentenced to death, because I don’t have a green thumb. I am happy to report, some plants did survive and those that didn’t, well, they probably didn’t belong in my garden in the first place. In the meantime, it’s back to writing and to hoping you enjoy reading Mask of the Gladiator as much as I enjoyed writing it.
A dedicated history and film buff, Georgie Lee loves combining her passion for Hollywood, history and storytelling through romantic fiction. She began writing professionally at a small TV station in San Diego before moving to Los Angeles to work in the interesting but strange world of the entertainment industry. When not writing, she enjoys reading non-fiction history and watching any movie with a costume and an accent. Please visit www.georgie-lee.com, follow her on Twitter @GeorgieLeeBooks or visit her Facebook page to learn more about Georgie and her books.