Monday, November 23, 2015

Michael Livingston's "The Shards of Heaven"

An award-winning writer and professor, Michael Livingston holds degrees in History, Medieval Studies, and English. In his academic life, he teaches at The Citadel, specializing in the Middle Ages.

Here he dreamcasts an adaptation of his new book, The Shards of Heaven, the first in a trilogy of historical fantasy novels:
First things first, I have to say that the Powers That Be in Hollywood shouldn't take my suggestions here as a reason not to buy the film rights to The Shards of Heaven. Because I'd really like for you to buy them. Just for the record.

That said, I really want to go ahead and cast two of the roles for you: the Roman legionnaires Titus Pullo and Lucius Vorenus.

These two men are real historical characters, who feature in Julius Caesar's account (in his Commentaries on the Gallic War) of a battle against the Nervii in Gaul in 54 BCE. They have been featured in a number of fictional accounts, so when I needed a pair of legionnaires to help tell my tale, I, too, chose to use them.

Later, after I'd written much of Shards, I learned that HBO's series Rome incorporated the same two characters, with Kevin McKidd playing Lucius Vorenus and Ray Stevenson playing Titus Pullo. A student of mine loaned me his DVDs of the series, and I was pleased to find that despite some similarities we had gone in substantially different directions with these two characters.

Except … I really did love HBO’s Pullo and Vorenus. Their storyline wasn’t at all like that of my Pullo and Vorenus, but increasingly their faces were. The actors were simply wonderful. I adored them. And pretty soon, fight it though I tried, I couldn’t think of my Pullo without picturing the actor Ray Stevenson, and I couldn’t think of my Vorenus without picturing the actor Kevin McKidd.

By the gods, I thought at one point, I think The Shards of Heaven would be a damn good movie. And if anyone ever films it and I have anything to say about it … those guys are my Pullo and Vorenus.

And at that point, well, I tried to rig the game for them. I went back and changed a few little details in their physical descriptions to match Stevenson and McKidd.

So the ball is in your court now, Hollywood. I’ve got the story, and I’ve already even cast two parts.

Let’s get this thing rolling. Let Pullo and Vorenus ride again!
Visit Michael Livingston's website.

--Marshal Zeringue