Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Author Spotlight Week - P.I. Barrington shares her favorite authors

Here's the dichotomy: I write futuristic/spec fiction. I read ancient historical fiction. I've had so many favorite authors at any given time but two are always in the top three: Taylor Caldwell and Colleen McCullough. Taylor Caldwell is also a Christian writer and is my sentimental favorite. I went through a decades long obsession of haunting thrift stores on my vacation travels seeking out copies of Dear and Glorious Physician and my all-time favorite, Great Lion of God. I'd give them to people I thought would like them. Most of them did. Her research is very good and she paints a vivid picture of Biblical times.

Currently, Colleen McCullough is my favorite due to my accidental discovery of her Masters of Rome series in a BigLots store in the 1990s. I'd walked in, found a hardback of The Grass Crown for 99 cents (I can recognize anything Roman at a thousand paces, believe me) and bought it. I'd never really liked The Thorn Birds, book or movie but I thought for under a buck, I couldn't lose. I did not. I was sucked in and bought the first book, all following books and I'm still trying to finish The October Horse. Masters of Rome chronicles the times from just before Julius Caesar's birth and youth to his rise to Dictator of Rome ending at his murder. McCullough's research is impeccable and she even deciphered the exact off-cut of a Roman toga to make it hang correctly instead of how it awkwardly does in those old Gladiator films! This woman put a glossary of Roman terms in the back of each novel, is it any wonder I love her?

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