writing about the past (from the point of view of a modern woman)
When I decided to go back into the past, it seemed it would be a quick trip. In fact, it was supposed to be a short story I was wwriting for a sci-fi magazine. I was going to interview a legend – Alexander the Great – get his side of the story, and leave. The setting wasn’t important, nor were the people around him. He was with his army, and he was living in an opulant tent – that much I knew and could imagine. His army camped by a wide river, but near enough a town to trade for food. Feeding an army takes a lot of planning – but I wasn’t worried about that. I would leave the planning to Alexander. I was not planning on Alexander kidnapping the woman from the future and stranding her in his time…and suddenly things like feeding an army became essential.
Ashley is stranded in 333 BC – she has to eat, drink, dress, and travel. How did she do all these things? What did the people around her think of her? And in what langages? Where were they going? How would she live? What if she fell in love? All those questions had to be answered. (Cue a year of research – which wasn’t half enough!)
But one thing worked in my favor – the main character and narrator of the story is a modern woman, so I didn’t have to try to put myself in the mindset of the ancient Greeks. Another thing that worked in my favor was that the time period I was writing about had been extensively researched already, so finding information wasn’t difficult.
Looking through modern eyes is a good way to show the differences that exist and the vast chasm that separates us from the people of the past. Ancient customs that seemed everyday to the people of the time fascinated Ashley, and she was forever getting into trouble because of her modern views. Slavery, for instance, was abhorant to her, and she could never learn to accept it, as people of that time did. The notion of fate – that everything has already been decided and there was nothing you could do to change it – also frustrated her on so many levels. But she managed to survive – and she learned a great deal about love, trust, and how to bake bread Egytian style along the way!
Son of the Moon by Jennifer Macaire
Can you face the consequences of cheating the Fates?
Alexander the Great journeys to India, where he and Ashley are welcomed with feasts and treachery.
With their son, Paul, being worshiped as the Son of the Moon, and Alexander’s looming death, Ashley considers the unthinkable: how to save them and whether she dares to cheat Fate?