If you’re a regular visitor to Linda’s Book Bag it won’t have escaped your notice that I am a little bit obsessed with Roman history, having been on a dig, collecting Roman coins and visiting places like Jerash in Jordan, Carthage in Tunisia and Pompeii in Italy. Consequently, I simply had to invite L.J Trafford to the blog to stay in with me and tell me all about her latest book.
Staying in with L.J. Trafford
Welcome to Linda’s Book Bag, L.J. Thank you for agreeing to stay in with me. Tell me, which of your books have you brought along to share this evening and why have you chosen it?
Hello Linda. Firstly thank you so much for inviting me over. I am delighted to be here.
(I’m delighted you’re here too as I think I’m going to like what you’re about to tell me!)
I have brought my latest book Vitellius’ Feast. It’s book four in my historical fiction series examining the very bloody year 69AD. A year when Rome had four emperors. Three who went in fairly bloody circumstances leaving one ultimate victor.
(I love the Romans so I’ve a feeling I’m going to have to read ALL your books!)
What can we expect from an evening in with Vitellius’ Feast?
A bit of a Roman romp! Contrary to lots of depictions Romans weren’t serious grey headed men in togas making noble speeches at each other. Graffiti and poetry from the time reveals them to be earthy, filthy and funny.
(Having seen some of the murals in Pompeii, I can vouch for the fact they weren’t straight laced L.J.!)
Having said that Vitellius’ Feast is set in a particularly brutal period of Roman history which means the stakes are high for all of my characters:
Can they successfully negotiate the fast changing political landscape?
Can they avoid the incoming legions bent on destruction and victory?
And can the palace catering department cope with the glutton emperor Vitellius’ every demand?
(A man after my own heart it would seem. Quite partial to a bit of gluttony myself…)
What else have you brought along and why?
I thought it fitting to bring a Roman dish of Vitellius’ own devising. It’s entitled Minerva’s Shield and the ingredients include pike-livers, pheasant-brains, peacock-brains, flamingo-tongues and lampreys (which are a sort of eel).
(Hmm. Not sure if I’m going to like that one much actually… Obviously I’m not that much of a glutton!)
I also have amphora of the finest Falerian wine kept cool using snow from the alps.
(That’s a bit more like it L.J.)
No Roman banquet would be complete without entertainment, so Domitian here is going to show off his archery skills firing arrows through the spread fingers of the slaves. Don’t worry he’s very good. Though obviously I will pay damages should any of your merchandise gets damaged.
(If you don’t mind, I’ll just move a couple of things with sentimental value out of the way before he begins!)
It’s been brilliant having a Roman evening in with you L.J. Thank you for staying in with me to tell me all about Vitellius’ Feast.
AD 69. As this most dramatic year draws to a close, now is the time to choose a definitive side. Whilst Vitellius enjoys the trappings of power around him, machinations are afoot. In the East, Vespasian has his eye on the throne, but he needs help preparing Rome for his plans and, for his teenage son Domitian, protection from Vitellius’ agents.
With her characteristic flair, and lashings of skulduggery, sex, brutality, and humour, L. J. Trafford brings her Roman quartet, tracing the Year of the Four Emperors, to a spectacular conclusion.
Vitellius’ Feast, was published on 6th December 2018, by Sphinx, an imprint of AEON Books, priced £12.99, available from Amazon.
LJ. Trafford is the author of the The Four Emperors series. After gaining a degree in Ancient History, Trafford toured across the amphitheatres of Western Europe. A collision with a moped in Rome cut her journey short, as she returned to the UK battered and impressively bruised.
She spent several years working as a tour guide, which ended up being the perfect introduction to writing as her tips relied on the creativity and entertainment of her skill at telling the history of the tour.
L.J. Trafford now works in London doing something whizzy with computers, but still finds time to jump back in time to bring tales of Ancient Rome to her readers!
You can follow L.J. Trafford on Twitter @TraffordLj.