Welcome to my new website, obviously very much a work in progress.
I’m thrilled and excited that my historical novel, I AM LIVIA, will be published in April 2014. A taste of the opening chapter:
I wonder sometimes how I will be remembered. As mother of my country, as men call me to my face, or as a monster? I know the rumors none dare speak aloud. Some believe I am a murderess many times over. They envy me and they hate my power. In Rome, a woman’s power, however circumspectly exercised, arouses revulsion.
Every death in my family circle has been laid at my door. People claim I am adept in the use of poisons. Oh, I have transgressed. But not in the way they think. It is when I remember my youth that I find myself recoiling. Do I recoil when I think of him, my beloved? No. But I paid a price in my soul, for loving him.
Old age can be a deceiver. My knees ache when I walk, but if I sit still, I do not feel so different from the girl I was. I tell myself I am the same. Then I glance down at my hands resting on the saffron folds of my stola, and I see blue veins under skin that is almost translucent. I cannot evade physical reality. And yet I believe I remain, in some essential way, the person I was at fifteen or twenty. Today I am called by the honorific Julia Augusta, but inside of me the girl Livia Drusilla still lives. Certainly, the decisions that girl made long ago shaped who I am now.
The time is approaching when I must move aside to make room for other guests at the banquet of life. It is necessary that I prepare to explain myself before the gods. Above all, I must be ready to account for the young woman I was.
My beloved wrote a record of his deeds for others to read. Of course he obscured distasteful truths. But I will write the story of my youth in a cipher only I know. I will be honest. There is no point in lying to the gods.
It will take courage to remember the days when I was Livia Drusilla. I wonder if I can do it without flinching.