Tuesday, October 26, 2010 at 09:26AM
Elizabeth Levy

  In the 21st Century, the Gladiators of Rome are mostly out-of-work actors who would be very at home as part of the entertainment crew on a cruise ship.   I’m not sure whether these guys are going to make it into my next book, but I wouldn’t be surprised.

            Keith Richards, from the Rolling Stones, is one of my rock-and roll heroes. He says that as a songwriter, he is always watching people, looking for ‘ammo” – the idea for the next song.  That’s what it felt like when I was traveling in Europe for almost a whole month.  I was traveling in the waters where pirates once roamed….and I felt like a pirate, not quite writing, but still searching the horizon for what might just by chance turn into the next story. 

As a writer, you are always looking for ideas, the problem is that you don’t know exactly which one of them is going to be good.   But there is something about traveling that makes history and stories come alive. History is full of mistakes and going in the wrong direction and yet, thinking you are right, just like Columbus thought he had sailed to the Indies.   Just like Columbus I got lost lots of times, making wrong turns and thinking I was somewhere I wasn’t.

But that’s all good practice for being a writer.            


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