Gary Corby is a first time novelist, former systems programmer at Microsoft, and lives in Australia with his wife and two daughters.
His new book is The Pericles Commission.
From his Q & A with Douglas Morrison at The Novel Road:
Me: You hit the reader “sweet spot” in how you balanced the levels of historical fact vs. creativity. How hard was it to limit how much history you wanted include?Read more about The Pericles Commission at the publisher's website.
Gary: Of all the tough research problems a writer faces, the worst of all is leaving stuff out. You'd think it'd be the other way round, but it isn't so. I could write a couple of pages on the drainage system of Athens in 460BC, but no one's going to read it. People want to read story, and plot, and characters. Technical description is called exposition, and the rule for writers is, Research = Exposition, and Exposition = Death. What you can do, though, is write about the consequences of your research. For example, I know in Classical Athens sewerage pooled in gutters running down the middle of the street.
When my hero Nicolaos is dragged off by a couple of thugs, something squishy which doesn't bear thinking about gets caught between his sandal and his foot, and he has to hop on the other foot while shaking the first to get it clear. A whole day's research on drainage devolved into two lines of book text about a messy foot. That's good, because a foot with poo on it is story and character, a treatise on drainage is not.
That's the right way to do it.
The wrong way is what I frequently...[read on]
Visit Gary Corby's blog.
The Page 69 Test: The Pericles Commission.
Writers Read: Gary Corby.
My Book, The Movie: The Pericles Commission.