One of the most daunting parts of writing historical fiction based in times thousands of years in the past is that there is generally a very limited public historical record from which to draw.
It’s one thing to recount history in a reference book. It’s something entirely different to create the intimate relationship to place required for a novel.
I’ve blogged before about how I started making “maps” of scenes, cities and other locations in order to create a sense of intimacy. They are one of my favorite tools, drawing out details such as how a person walked through the city, the position of a home or a gate in relation to a character, etc.
These are two I finished this weekend:
The entire second half of The Sibylline Chronicles Vol. 1 is based in the ancient North African province of Byzacena, home to both of these cities.
They are very different – Aphrodisium, a port South of Carthage through which much of North Africa’s olive oil production was exported. Thysdrus, the inland center of that production and a city of exiles.