Yes, you can go back again…
Here’s my snippet from Dominus Calendar Series: February.
Over in a corner of the office, the flickering flames of a lamp suspended from an ornate bronze candelabrum cast shadows across the frescoed walls. Wrapped in a heavy woolen cloak, Gaius flipped over another wax tablet and lifted his cup of warmed wine when the captain of the villa’s guards rushed into his sanctuary.
“Commander Fabius, my—my sincerest apologies. I asked Counselor Petronius to wait in the atrium for a proper salutation, but…”
“It’s not your veteran’s fault, Gaius. You know better than anyone what an impatient prick I am.” Lucius’s rumbling words sliced through the frosty air. “By gods, where are my manners? Greetings from Rome, Commander Fabius.”
With his lips poised over the edge of his silver wine cup, Gaius froze at the familiar sound of Luc’s deep voice. He could hear the affection. He could picture that cheeky, beautiful grin. Slowly, he placed the cup on the desk and turned around in his chair.
“Well, this is a surprise! Greetings, Lucius Petronius Celsus.” Gaius stood and shook out the folds of his cloak. “Varius, tell the kitchen staff we have a guest. You’ll stay for dinner of course, our most unexpected Counselor? I will insist.”
Leaning against the wall by the door, his burly arms folded casually across his chest, Lucius waited until Varius was safely out of earshot.
“I’ll stay as long as you’ll have me, soldier,” he finally replied with that cocky smile.
As part of my current writing project, I’m revising the first short story I ever published, originally titled Dominus: Fragmentum 1. It features a brief reunion of Gaius and Lucius down at Gaius’s Campanian villa in AD 103 after Gaius had returned from the first Dacian War. The original tale is a tad rough around the edges, but the writing is fairly solid. I’m hoping to make it flow better with this rewrite. Where the original story failed in my opinion is in what some might call the backstory. When I released it back in 2013, no one knew who the fuck these guys were! I did. My editors did. But the readers did not. DOH! Lesson learned.
When I first drafted this wee story, I was in the middle of writing Dominus… literally. I shit you not. The very first scene of Dominus that I wrote was in the middle of the damn book (when Allerix put a knife to Simon’s throat in an attempt to escape). Of course, I knew I had to go back and write the first chapters, and I’d already decided that Gaius would have a best friend and secret lover – another Roman aristocrat, no less. And so Lucius Petronius was born. Fragmentum 1 was my exploration of Lucius’s character through storytelling. In retrospect, I shouldn’t have published the little tale until after the first novel came out. It was a shortsighted act, but (like Lucius) I was impatient. I wanted to explore self-publishing and conquer the infamous Smashword’s ‘meat grinder’ review system, so I jumped into the murky waters. Both Gaius and Lucius suffered due to my haste.
However, revisiting them now is wonderful. I get to explore and share more about the history of Gaius and Lucius’s complicated relationship. I know them better; readers of this insane saga know them better. Hopefully, the two bastards will forgive me. And spending a bit of time with Nicomedes is heartwarming. He’s still young and scared and trying to find his place in the villa household. And both Varius and Atticus make brief cameos. Who would have known how important Varius would become… I certainly didn’t. 😀
This revised story will be bundled with Lucius and Bry’s Saturnalia adventures as one volume titled, Dominus Calendar Series: February and December. I’ll be publishing the short book (~25K words) through Amazon only and I’ll be testing out the treacherous Kindle Unlimited waters for the minimum 90 day commitment. If the experience sucks donkey balls, I’ll pull the book out of KU and put it up for sale on Amazon and Smashwords.
But you guys needn’t worry about any of that publishing nonsense. If you sign up for my email list [SIGN UP HERE] or follow this blog by email, I’ll send you Dominus Calendar Series: February and December as a PDF document for free. I’ve already sent out a healthy batch of PDF copies of my contemporary fluffy tale, Bashir, to email subscribers and followers. It was fun revisiting Charlie and Bashir as well. 😀
So that’s my rainbow snippet for this weekend. For more snippets by the group’s authors, come check out: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/