Inspiration – I’ll give you inspiration!

I often get asked where I getย the inspiration for my books from. I’m not entirely sure a lot of the time, but there’s always a spark that starts a story off. I’ve been meaning for ages to have this sort of thing on the site, and this is hopefully the beginning lots more such posts. It’s just a few paragraphs about where the story of The Forgotten Legion came from. I hope you enjoy it. It’s at the bottom of this page.

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  1. sownack
    Posted 6 February 2012 at 23:29 | Permalink

    I confess, I have not yet read The Forgotten Legion and its sequels – too many books and too little time ๐Ÿ™

    However, I have a birthday coming up soon and shall request DH buys them for me. I am not subtle about such things, I just e-mail him the link to Amazon with the words “I would like this book/CD/DVD” and he usually gets the hint.

    Legend has it that the body of Spartacus was never found and that he might have survived the battle against Crassus. Not hard to imagine him hiding out with the remnants of his army in the foothills of Vesuvius and one day hearing about Crassus’ defeat at Carrhae. But we’ll never know about that…….

    Looking forward to the next Spartacus book ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Ben Kane
    Posted 7 February 2012 at 09:57 | Permalink

    @sownack: no worries, the trilogy will still be there when your birthday comes around. Nothing wrong with telling your DH the way you do – it’s how my wife tells me what she would like and vice versa! Better to get something you want than don’t want.

    As for what happened to Spartacus, you have the truth of it that his body was never found. What will happen at the end of Spartacus: Rebellion, however, I couldn’t possibly say! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. Bill1965
    Posted 8 February 2012 at 10:48 | Permalink

    I have just finished reading Spartacus :.Gladiator and currently reading Hannibal and having read most of the published authors in this genre I can safely say, in my humble opinion, that you are most definately up there with the best of them. In such a competitive arena it takes something a bit special to have success and you have succeeded where many others have failed. Keep up the good work and I look forward to reading Spartacus : Rebellion when it comes out.

  4. Danoebe
    Posted 8 February 2012 at 13:44 | Permalink

    Have thoroughly enjoyed all of your books so far! The Forgotten Legion trilogy were a brilliant read, couldn’t put them down! Have just read Hannibal and now on Spartacus! Again, these two are fantastic! When will we get the next instalments of these characters?!
    I have always been a massive fan of the Romans/Greeks ever since studying Classical Civilisation at A-level! The way in which you write and portray your characters makes the reader feel as if you’re there with them, hanging on their every word! They truly are brilliant books!
    Are you a fan of the Spartacus: Blood and Sand/Vengeance series on Sky 1?
    I’ve always dreamed of visiting Rome to stand inside the Colosseum and walk around the Forum! Fortunately that dream will come true at the end of March, when my husband and I go to Rome for our tenth wedding anniversary! Can’t wait!!

  5. Ben Kane
    Posted 8 February 2012 at 14:41 | Permalink

    @Bill1965: You’re very kind – thank you so much! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Ben Kane
    Posted 8 February 2012 at 14:44 | Permalink

    @Danoebe: Thanks for posting, and welcome to my site. Very glad that you like the books so much – cheers! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Spartacus 2 (Rebellion) comes out on August the 16th. Hannibal 2 (Legionary) comes out some time after that – I’ve not even started it yet, so don’t know.

    I have thus far avoided Blood and Sand, and Vengeance, apart from the very first two episodes that is. It’s not because I don’t want to watch them, because I do! It’s so that nothing inadvertently makes its way from the TV series into my books.

    Happy tenth wedding anniversary – you’ll have a great time – the city is truly wonderful!

  7. liamandrews
    Posted 12 February 2012 at 00:04 | Permalink

    hi i love your book i am lisaning to road to rome on audible as i tipe. i just wonted to know what is pland after hannibal 2 do you have eney other books pland i think a book on troy wud be grate

  8. Ben Kane
    Posted 12 February 2012 at 07:56 | Permalink

    @liamandrews: Welcome to my website, and thanks for posting! Glad you’re enjoying the trilogy. As you may know, I have a book on Spartacus out at the moment. The sequel to that follows in August. Next year, Hannibal 2 comes out. I plan to write four books on the Second Punic War. I have plenty more ideas in the pipeline, but if I told you, I’d have to kill you ๐Ÿ˜‰ Best wishes – Ben

  9. liamandrews
    Posted 12 February 2012 at 18:33 | Permalink

    books on the Second Punic War sound grat i cant wate to read them

    p.s while im wating for your next book can you recomend eney other authors/book on hisory

  10. Ben Kane
    Posted 12 February 2012 at 18:45 | Permalink

    @liamandrews: Check out my list on this page:


  11. sownack
    Posted 12 February 2012 at 19:49 | Permalink

    Ben, do you have any book signings due for Spartacus 1&2 in your schedule? I have just looked on the events page, but the three events mentioned I cannot get to. I am particularly interested in any book signings in Scotland, especially Aberdeen. I think my sixteen year old nephew would like Spartacus and I thought a birthday/Christmas present combined would be a nice idea and even better if both books were signed ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Ben Kane
    Posted 12 February 2012 at 20:18 | Permalink

    @sownack: Hi and thanks for asking about my events. I do have some more events booked, just haven’t got around to putting them on yet. Sorry to say that none of them are in Scotland – I’m not big enough yet for my publishers to get me up there yet! Your best bet for getting two signed copies is to ask shops like Topping’s of Bath or Goldsboro Books of London for them. They may still have signed copies of the first book (they both buy in the order of 80 and 200 each respectively). You can also preorder the second from either shop. I hope that helps?

  13. sownack
    Posted 12 February 2012 at 20:41 | Permalink

    Thanks Ben, I’ll try your suggestions. Hope to see you in Scotland one day!

  14. Ben Kane
    Posted 12 February 2012 at 20:43 | Permalink

    @sownack: Me too! (See you in Scotland one day!)

  15. TimHodkinson
    Posted 9 March 2012 at 11:11 | Permalink

    I’ve just started the Forgotten Legion series, starting at Book 1. I’d recommend them to anyone who hasn’t read them yet as I’m only a few chapters in and hooked already. The upper class drinking session was uncomfortably familiar and slightly reminiscent of a few nights out with the rugby lads years back: I suppose not much changes over the centuries.

    On “inspiration”, I was reading “Green Tea” by JS LeFanu recently and came across this passage:

    “I believe, that every one who sets about writing in earnest does his work, as a friend of mine phrased it, on somethingโ€”tea, or coffee, or tobacco. I suppose there is a material waste that must be hourly supplied in such occupations, or that we should grow too abstracted, and the mind, as it were, pass out of the body, unless it were reminded often enough of the connection by actual sensation. At all events, I felt the want, and I supplied it. Tea was my companion”

    Does this strike a chord at all or do you not require any external stimulants to inspire writing?

  16. Ben Kane
    Posted 9 March 2012 at 13:17 | Permalink

    @Tim: Welcome to my site, and thanks for posting! I’m glad that you’re hooked on The Forgotten Legion already – I love it if people can’t put the book down.

    Re stimulants: No, I don’t need tea, coffee or tobacco – certainly not to write. I drink a few cups of tea with breakfast, and a coffee around 11. Two more cups of tea maybe in the rest of the day. Hmmm. Just writing that makes me think maybe I do rely on them! *scratches head* I mostly drink water, however – that I do need in large amounts.

    What about you?

  17. TimHodkinson
    Posted 10 March 2012 at 13:13 | Permalink

    Tea I guess. Having read more of Forgotten Legion, I should qualify my earlier observation about the drinking session-it reminded me of a night out with the rugby club, except without the prostitutes and rape. ๐Ÿ™‚
    You’re obviously fascinated and very knowledgeable about Rome, but seem to see little good in the “great men” who made it what it was. Do you think that’s inevitable, given Roman historians tendencies to portray their own historical figures “warts and all”, or have sensibilities just changed so much it would be like trying to make hitler look good?

  18. Ben Kane
    Posted 11 March 2012 at 20:42 | Permalink

    @Tim: glad you qualified your statement re the night out ๐Ÿ˜‰

    To be honest, my view of Rome’s great men is not as jaundiced as the book might make it seem. However, I feel no slavish love for them either. My research about Rome has led to realise that while it did much for the world, it was also a dominating force that treated many many peoples appallingly.Caesar for example is credited with being responsible for 1 million dead tribesmen and 1 million taken as slaves during his conquest of Gaul – an invasion that had no justification whatsoever. He was a man of his time, I hear some people blether. Yeah, I know, but I therefore have no qualms about portraying him as capable of another dreadful deed.

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