googlead166c37c697d4d3.html Glenn Ashton Author Blog: The reality kick: A Bride, 28 carloads of Bones & the Pantheon Obelisk

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Friday, July 29, 2011

The reality kick: A Bride, 28 carloads of Bones & the Pantheon Obelisk

Sometimes reality sneaks up behind you and gives you a kick in the pants when you are writing. You sit waiting for your Muse to gift you a scene, or a character, and nothing happens. Then suddenly a thought swirls in the back of your mind – perhaps a dredged up memory of a vacation or a cup of coffee with someone – and keeps coming back until you just have to deal with it.

And you find that you have the scene or character you were looking for. Thanks, Muse!
Wedding buggy at Pantheon, Rome

A photograph we took of a buggy with a horse in front, waiting patiently while a bride and groom were being married inside the massive Pantheon in Rome, gave us our opening scene for Obelisk Seven. Plus, we felt a little kindred spirit with the bride and groom, because we were married on a beach ... another unusual setting.

This huge temple was built in 27 BC by Agrippa, the son-in-law of Emperor Augustus, whose name is on the facade of the building, and dedicated by him to all the gods (hence the name Pantheon). It was rebuilt in 123 AD by Emperor Hadrian, and much later was converted into a church, because its vault and round shape lent itself to this purpose, by Pope Boniface IV. To consecrate the church, the Pope brought twenty eight carloads of bones of martyrs from the catacombs and placed them beneath the altar.

With a history like that, and an obelisk before it, plus a bride and buggy, we just had to use it to open our book. And so our lead character, Nick, sits in the rain along with the patient  horse, and meets our heroine, Kate.
Audrey Hepburn
Throw in Audrey Hepburn (she starred in Roman Holiday with Gregory Peck in 1953, and ordered champagne at a trattoria close to the one we were sitting at in the Pantheon square during our vacation), and we had the unsual setting we wanted for our first meeting of our heroes.

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