Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Romans are Coming, The Romans are Coming

Long before the Russians were thus feared, a like warning echoed throughout the ancient world – everyone ran and hid. Except a Macedonian youth who himself then went on to conquer his known world. This is NOT his story.

Instead, Author Andrew Levkoff gives us a hitherto unknown namesake, The Other Alexander. Book 1 of Levkoff’s The Bow of Heaven Trilogy deals with Alexandros of Elateia, a young slave, his liege and master, the powerful Crassus of Rome. When Crassus becomes blinded by a desire for revenge, both owner and owned become slaves to a destiny that will topple the foundations of the Republic.

This from the author himself:

First things first.
Thank you, Inge, for helping to launch the completion of The Bow of Heaven trilogy. You’ve made me blush more than once.
(Now, he makes me blush)

“It is laughable how often good manners interfere with my survival.” So says Alexandros, the 85 year-old narrator of The Bow of Heaven, looking back on 30 years of slavery, bound to the richest man in Rome. I began writing the series in 2004, inspired by Ridley Scott’s “Gladiator”. Guess I got sidetracked, because in all the 1,400 pages of the trilogy, not one of the major characters ever suits up in the arena. I wanted to investigate the bad rap I believe Marcus Crassus has gotten from historians, but I soon became fascinated by the complex relationship between master and slave.

* * *
Andrew Levkoff came to my attention as both our books were shortlisted by the Historical Novel Society for the 2014 Best Historical Fiction Award; in essence, we were competing for the same coveted prize. Alas, both being left standing at the altar (or “honored to be a bridesmaid,” as Andrew put it afterwards), I took a closer look at his writing and realized just how tough competition had been (see my previous article on Helen Hollick, a staunch supporter of the Indie Writer – and a prolific author herself).

A Mixture of Madness is Book 2 of this Roman trilogy.

Selfishly, I picked Andrew’s brain trying to glean some pointers from this master of Historical Fiction:

People have asked, “Is writing fun?” For me, it’s about 20% inspiration, 80% perspiration. Breaking it down another way, it’s 90% thinking, 10% typing. (I do a lot of pacing.) But those few moments when a character surprises me, or I solve a thorny plot problem (this usually happens in the shower), make it all worthwhile.

I’ll be recording A Mixture of Madness as an audiobook. I don’t have a studio, and the only room in my home quiet enough for recording is my clothes closet. The sacrifices we make for art!

The Other Alexander is available to listen to here. That’s not my voice, but Andrew Randall reading. If he sounds familiar, it’s because he is the voice of the Geico gecko. Yes, folks, my book is being read by a lizard. And a fine job he did, too.

Andrew shares his next project with us (you heard it here first): 

After I come back out of the closet, so to speak, I’ll be publishing a prequel to the series:  Melyaket, a Tale of Ancient Parthia.

And now to the most exciting part:

December 6 is the launch of Book 3:


(don't you just love these covers?)

Thank you, readers of Inge’s blog, for spending some time with me today. If you have any questions or comments, you can reach me from the website,

Andrew’s writings are available in various e-formats, in print and as audio books.

Andrew Levkoff Author Pages:

Books On Amazon:

Also check out his most interesting blog at (note, the man does have a good sense of humor), and do watch the beautiful trailer as well. You may just want to fly to Rome and tread those ancient paths yourself.
In the meantime, the very next best thing is to start reading The Bow of Heaven Trilogy.


The Other Alexander will be FREE December 8-10

Mark your Calendars for this author's gift to you.