Vicky Alvear Shecter

year in books
Francisco
152 books | 4,906 friends

Michele
27,657 books | 5,001 friends

Lyn
Lyn
444 books | 1,024 friends

Lynn Cu...
71 books | 310 friends

Gabriel...
3,729 books | 1,253 friends

Kai Strand
1,231 books | 1,756 friends

Amalia ...
1,349 books | 248 friends

Abby
1,201 books | 104 friends

More friends…

Vicky Alvear Shecter

Goodreads Author


Born
in Miami, FL, The United States
Website

Genre

Member Since
April 2008

URL


Vicky Alvear Shecter wishes she had a time machine to go back to the glory days of ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. Until she can find one, she writes about the famous and fabulous lives of the ancients and their gods instead. She is also a docent at the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Antiquities at Emory University.

Popular Answered Questions

Vicky Alvear Shecter Hi WittySofa! (Great name)

I'm so glad you've enjoyed my books! Your question is an important one and I think all historical fiction writers struggle w…more
Hi WittySofa! (Great name)

I'm so glad you've enjoyed my books! Your question is an important one and I think all historical fiction writers struggle with this. After all, we wouldn't write about other time periods if we weren't completely enthralled with them and all their strange, delicious details!

Here's one rule: If the detail would not be of interest to or new to your character, don't include it. That sounds simple on the surface, but it's not. For example, if your character is a builder or an architect, then he might very well ruminate about how houses are built or notice architectural elements. But if he or she isn't, then you can't remark on it or include details about it because those little details are likely invisible to him or her. I know--ouch!

If you've read Robert Harris's POMPEII, then you know that the main character spends A LOT (some say too much) time thinking about pipes and wells and aquafers--but we forgive him because he is a water engineer. As an aquarius, that's his job, so he's allowed to be a "nerd" about it--in fact, it's expected!

Clearly Harris was fascinated by Rome's aqueducts, so he conveniently made his MC an expert so he could indulge in sharing some of the fascinating facts. So that's one solution--if you are fascinated by something, make your main character someone who does that work. That's a little more difficult if your character is a woman since women were forbidden from so much in the Roman world, but there are ways around that. For example, if you are fascinated by the painters of frescoes and your character is a girl, make her father or brother a fresco painter, giving her the opportunity to tag along to sites and learn the craft. Maybe she becomes a great master but has to pretend a male relative is doing the work and shenanigans ensue (I would read that!).

Another thing to remember is that most of what we find extraordinary would be absolutely ordinary to them. So while we may be shocked about public latrines where everyone "shares a bench," your character wouldn't think twice about it! You can draw attention to such fascinating details by making something unusual happen--such as someone runs out with the sponge-on-a-stick they use to wipe themselves with. Then your character would notice! But again, if it isn't somehow related to the main story, you're going to have to cut it.

One last example. When I was researching for my novel set in Pompeii, I was tickled/horrified to learn that there were many graffiti and official signs warning the locals to "not defecate here." Who knew public defecation was a problem? That detail cracked me up, but I couldn't make a big deal of it, not only because apparently it was common place, but also, it would set up the reader to worry about or look for a scene where she might step in it. I did manage to sneak in a mention, though, when she was hurrying through the city as she reminded herself to watch where she stepped. But overall, unless a detail plays a part in the growth of the character or the advancement of the plot, you've got to avoid it.

I hope this helps!(less)
Vicky Alvear Shecter Hi KenKen:

Thanks so much for writing. I was always a huge fan of historical fiction too--and I still am!

Coming up with ideas for books happens in all…more
Hi KenKen:

Thanks so much for writing. I was always a huge fan of historical fiction too--and I still am!

Coming up with ideas for books happens in all kinds of ways--usually, there's an aspect of history that surprises me and fascinates me and I want to go deeper into exploring it. For CURSES, for example, I was fascinated by how people thought about curses and religion and how they would've used their views to deal with an unimaginable disaster. For CLEOPATRA'S MOON, I was fascinated by the fact that Cleopatra VII had a daughter and that she was the only one of the queen's four children to survive to adulthood--and that she ended up ruling in North Africa.

Usually, it's something that I can't stop thinking about!

I actually didn't start writing until fairly late but I have always loved history, reading, archaeology and the ancient world.

Do you love ancient history or all history? Do you want to be a writer as well?

Thanks again for your questions! Vicky(less)
Average rating: 4.0 · 7,665 ratings · 1,261 reviews · 12 distinct worksSimilar authors
Cleopatra's Moon

4.01 avg rating — 3,968 ratings — published 2011 — 19 editions
Rate this book
Clear rating
Curses and Smoke

3.73 avg rating — 1,134 ratings — published 2014 — 9 editions
Rate this book
Clear rating
Cleopatra Rules!: The Amazi...

3.64 avg rating — 212 ratings — published 2010 — 3 editions
Rate this book
Clear rating
Hades Speaks!: A Guide to t...

by
3.93 avg rating — 97 ratings — published 2014 — 2 editions
Rate this book
Clear rating
Anubis Speaks! A Guide to t...

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 83 ratings — published 2013 — 2 editions
Rate this book
Clear rating
Alexander the Great Rocks t...

by
4.14 avg rating — 43 ratings — published 2006
Rate this book
Clear rating
Thor Speaks!: A Guide to th...

by
3.72 avg rating — 32 ratings — published 2015 — 2 editions
Rate this book
Clear rating
Warrior Queens: True Storie...

by
3.25 avg rating — 8 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
A Day of Fire: A Novel of P...

by
4.14 avg rating — 1,263 ratings — published 2014 — 3 editions
Rate this book
Clear rating
A Song of War: A Novel of Troy

by
4.20 avg rating — 321 ratings — published 2016 — 2 editions
Rate this book
Clear rating
More books by Vicky Alvear Shecter…

It’s Women’s History Month So Let’s Talk Kick-Butt Ancient Warrior Queens!


Powerful women are always fascinating, but there is something especially intriguing about women in the ancient world who led their kingdoms and also led armies into battle. Both were extraordinarily difficult in eras where women generally had very little economic and social power, let alone political and military strength. With Elizabeth Warren–arguably the most qualified candidate–dro

Read more of this blog post »
 •  0 comments  •  flag
Share on Twitter
Published on March 06, 2020 13:06
Anubis Speaks! A Guide to t... Hades Speaks!: A Guide to t... Thor Speaks!: A Guide to th...
(3 books)
by
3.92 avg rating — 212 ratings

Anubis Speaks! A Guide to t... Hades Speaks!: A Guide to t...
(2 books)
by
3.96 avg rating — 180 ratings

Upcoming Events

No scheduled events. Add an event.

Vicky’s Recent Updates

Vicky rated a book it was amazing
Girls Save the World in This One by Ash Parsons
Rate this book
Clear rating
THIS WAS SO MUCH FUN! I am not usually a zombie story fan but this was a blast to read, especially during quarantine. I needed something that would make me smile and I loved having a bunch of good, fully-fleshed kid protags to root for. I got all thi ...more
Vicky wants to read
Who Cooked Adam Smith's Dinner? by Katrine Kielos
Rate this book
Clear rating
Vicky entered a giveaway
Every Missing Piece by Melanie Conklin
Every Missing Piece
by Melanie Conklin (Goodreads Author)
Rate this book
Clear rating
Vicky voted for Hair Love as Best Picture Books in the Final Round of the 2019 Goodreads Choice Awards.
Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry
Vicky rated a book it was amazing
Just South of Home by Karen Strong
Just South of Home
by Karen Strong (Goodreads Author)
Rate this book
Clear rating
This is such a well written, wonderful book. I love the themes of family, friendship, redemption, healing, and second chances. Middle grade readers will love to shiver at the creepy 'haints' that haunt this story but also really relate to the trials ...more
Vicky answered Goodreads's question: Vicky Alvear Shecter
Ohhhh, that's hard. I've never tried that before. But here goes:

Sandra startled awake when a heavy drop hit her head, muttering, "Dammit, the roof is leaking again." But it wasn't rain that fell on her--it was blood.

(Good thing I don't write in this See Full Answer
Vicky rated a book it was amazing
I'm Not Dying with You Tonight by Kimberly   Jones
Rate this book
Clear rating
Fast Paced and Thought-provoking. I highly recommend this book, especially for middle and high school teens. Its fast pace and non-stop action will hook them right away. It's almost cinematic in the way the tension builds and builds. However, what's ...more
Vicky wants to read
Heroes by Stephen Fry
Rate this book
Clear rating
Vicky wants to read
Ave Auriga! by Deke D. Wagner
Rate this book
Clear rating
Vicky wants to read
Girls Save the World in This One by Ash Parsons
Rate this book
Clear rating
More of Vicky's books…
“You must make a choice,” the Goddess said.

“Is that my only choice – to choose between men?” I asked. “I want what Mother had!”

“Your mother chose two men,” she said with light laughter.

“No! She chose independence for her country. She chose power and freedom,” I yelled.

Almost as if in response, a pulsating energy moved up from the ground into my bare feet. It thrummed up my body and radiated out in a bright light, first from my toes, then from my fingertips, then the top of my head.

“I choose power,” I said. “I choose freedom.”
Vicky Alvear Shecter, Cleopatra's Moon

“I especially treasured my glimpses of Mother, Queen Cleopatra VII. She sat on a golden throne, looking as resplendent as one of the giant marble statues guarding the tombs of the Old Ones. Diamonds twinkled in a jungle of black braids on her ceremonial wig. She wore a diadem with three rearing snakes and a golden broad collar, shining with lapis lazuli, carnelian, and emeralds, over her golden, form-fitting pleated gown. In one hand, she held a golden ankh of life, while the other clasped the striped crook and flail of her divine rulership. Her stillness radiated power, like a lioness pausing before the pounce. It left me breathless with awe.”
Vicky Alvear Shecter, Cleopatra's Moon

“I groaned inwardly, hating how men blamed their own lusts on women’s “magic.”
Vicky Alvear Shecter, Cleopatra's Moon

Topics Mentioning This Author

“The writer Umberto Eco belongs to that small class of scholars who are encyclopedic, insightful, and nondull. He is the owner of a large personal library (containing thirty thousand books), and separates visitors into two categories: those who react with “Wow! Signore, professore dottore Eco, what a library you have ! How many of these books have you read?” and the others - a very small minority - who get the point that a private library is not an ego-boosting appendage but a research tool. Read books are far less valuable than unread ones. The library should contain as much of what you don’t know as your financial means, mortgage rates and the currently tight real-estate market allows you to put there. You will accumulate more knowledge and more books as you grow older, and the growing number of unread books on the shelves will look at you menancingly. Indeed, the more you know, the larger the rows of unread books. Let us call this collection of unread books an antilibrary.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable

125631 -History Lovers- — 44 members — last activity Nov 22, 2014 10:08AM
A group for those who love historical fiction!
95218 Les Contemprateurs — 13 members — last activity Feb 22, 2014 09:08PM
For all those people who can find beauty in books.
169316 The YA and Middle Grade Fiction Group — 284 members — last activity May 02, 2020 04:18AM
The YA and Middle Grade Fiction Group is a public group featuring discussions on and the new releases of young adult and middle grade fiction. This gr ...more



No comments have been added yet.