Frequently Asked Questions
What are the rules that govern arcae?
A cut -
A broken bone -
A severed hand -
Do animals have arcae?
No. That is one of the fundamental differences that separate humans from animals. You can find the mythological explanation for the existence of arcae in Chapter Eight of The Pearliad.
Has the Roman Empire conquered the whole of the world?
Pretty much, yes. The USA and Australia were colonised by the Empire hundreds of years ago (rather than by the British, French and Spanish as in our universe), although now officially they have ‘independent’ status. Issues of citizenship will be further explored in the later books.
Will we see more of the Roman Empire in the other books in the series?
Do you see a lot of yourself in Effie?
Yes, disconcertingly! It wasn’t intentional on my part -
The characterisation of Effie was very important to me; I was asked during the editing process to make her more of a ‘bad ass’. At that time, the general consensus from my proof readers was that Effie was a bit of a wet blanket. However, when I went back over the manuscript I realised that I couldn’t change anything about her … it wouldn’t have been right. Tansy is the girl on the Indigo Isles who has always longed to leave her home, not Effie, and therefore Effie’s decision to travel to Roma for the sake of thousands of people she doesn’t know is, in my opinion, much braver.
I hate the fact that there only seems to be one hard and fast definition of a “strong” young heroine in literature – typically she is “feisty” and impulsive, she jumps into situations with some reckless need to prove that she is just as capable as a male and ends up ruining the plan; however, she’s still likeable because she cracks some witty, withering jokes that show she’s cool and admirable. It is my view that women cannot be seen as a straight forward feisty-
For me, Effie’s emotions and reactions are realistic. When she starts off her journey she is extraordinarily naïve and unexposed to the ‘real’ world around her, but it is her experiences in that world that will test her mettle and shape her character. As she says in the final chapter of The Pearliad, “I had been tempered in the furnace of Stickings’ making, and I had come out stronger”.
Do you have any questions about The Pearliad that you’d like me to answer? Comment on my blog, or send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.