RARA-AVIS: Re:Introduction

From: kellistanley83 ( kelli@kellistanley.com)
Date: 13 Sep 2007

Thanks very much for the warm welcome, Mike!

This is, indeed, an eyrie of extraordinary knowledge and opinion. By Gad, sir! ;)

I'm extra thrilled to find someone who shares my enthusiasm for both Classics and noir ... two birds which seem not exactly of a feather.

For the noir part ... I'm one of those "broad-definition" people, though I recognize the value in the opposite view. I posted some of my thoughts in DorothyL a while back--called "Ten Shades of Black" or something like that.

I owe much of my personal inspiration to Eddie Muller, a friend and one of two other authors who actually has a copy of my book at this early date. He's one terrific guy, as well as a superb writer. In Dark City (non-fiction film noir book), he makes mention of Rome as the first "Noir City".

Speaking of which, as urged, I'll be frank (and I loved the Latin, BTW!). As a reader and Romanist, I don't particularly enjoy Lindsey Davis. She is engaging, and I like humor--and it doesn't even have to be gallows-variety--but her Rome is far too cozy for me to personally savor. I very much like Saylor. My own favorites of his are The Venus Throw (reading it as an undergrad gave me the initial idea of trying my own series) and Catalina's Riddle. I also think he wins the research prize, and certainly my recommendation.

There are others: John Maddox Roberts, Rosemary Rowe, David Wishart. I don't like Roberts' SPQR series, and find those books stiff and unrealistic, a problem with the self-consciously "historical" style.

Rosemary I discovered after I wrote my book, Wishart after I sold it. Rowe is what I consider traditionally history-cozy and is well-researched. I couldn't read Wishart--I lasted maybe five pages. He writes in what is described as a hard-boiled style, but I've come to the conclusion that you have to intuitively understand American English to attempt this. He's a Scottish writer, and--to me--the voice sounds all wrong. That may be because we have such similar approaches, and I find his diction anachronistic and his rhythm jarring.

With that comes the fact that I respect all of these writers for doing something very, very difficult. They all have fans, and they've all sold more books than I have! Ultimately, you write for yourself and hope like hell other people will find something to like.

As for me, I consider myself at least as much hard-boiled as historian. My goal is to have noir fans and general readers pick up the book and enjoy Rome without realizing they're reading something
"historical". Likewise, I'd like the history buffs to pick it up and get a yen for The Big Sleep or Red Harvest.

It's a tired old adage, but the human condition is the human condition. For me, no matter how we dress it, that's what it's all about. Well, that and the hokey-pokey. ;)

Thanks again for your good wishes!


Kelli Stanley
Author of Nox Dormienda (A Long Night for Sleeping)
July, 2008 Five Star Mysteries

Welcome to Roman Noir.
--- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, mburch5717@... wrote: > > > Hi Kellie, > > > > Welcome to the flock! I'm a relative newcomer here myself but I think you'll have the same great and positive reactions to this group as? I have: this really is a gathering of rare birds of extraordinary depth of knowledge and well-reasoned criticism. Reading my avis digest everyday has become a very pleasant part of my life. > > > > Congratulations on your new book! It sounds very interesting. I also have had a lifelong interest in classical literature, culture?and history all of which makes me excited about reading your very cleverly titled Roman Noir series. > > This is a bit outside the confines of this group but I'd be curious to get your impressions of some of the other practitioners of ancient mystery (as opposed to the mysteries)?fiction (e.g. Saylor, Davis, etc) as well as recommendations from you about what you think some of the best examples of this particular niche are. > > Please be candid if you can which I realize might not be prudent but consider that 'nihil nisi bonum' applies only to the dead. > > Welcome again and best of luck to you in literary career! > > Mike > > ________________________________________________________________________ > Email and AIM finally together. You've gotta check out free AOL Mail! - http://mail.aol.com > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed] >

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