Here’s what I wrote over at the new House of Dionysos GR group in answer to the burning question.
“Short story… I wanted to write a saga focused on two complicated, proud men who 1) both share dominant and submissive tendencies and 2) fall in love despite the circumstances. I wanted them both to suffer and sacrifice for this love. I want them to work for it.
I know ancient Rome, so I decided to create an enemies to lovers story featuring a Roman politician/general (Gaius Fabius) and a captive barbarian turned slave (Allerix). I wanted them to struggle in a real historical setting and I found little fiction (m/m or otherwise) set during the reign of Trajan and the Dacian wars. I also chose this period of history (early 2nd century AD) because there are few contemporary historical accounts of what actually happened (so lots of room for fiction fun), except for the scandalous rumors surrounding Trajan’s ‘deathbed adoption’ of Hadrian. Of course, this juicy scene will be part of my series. It’s four books total and the first book, Dominus, serves to introduce the main cast of characters in Rome and Campania, the circumstances of Dacian prince Allerix’s capture, and the murder mystery that propels the story forward to book 2, Games of Rome. And, just to make extra work for myself, I couched the ancient saga within a modern archaeological excavation. The story is dark at times, erotic, funny, populated by great women as well as men, and touches of paranormal because the Romans believed in (and feared) the spirits of the dead.”