Triumph and Defeat

The Triumph of Pompey, Gabriel de Saint-Aubin
The Triumph of Pompey, Gabriel de Saint-Aubin

Down time.

It can be a brutal master, don’t you think? This past Monday, after putting the finishing touches on MAGNUS: Triumphator, I convinced myself to take a week to recharge and refocus before jumping headlong into the final chapter of Gnaeus Pompey Magnus’ story. Easier said than done! What does a guy do with all this free time? It gives me no excuse to shirk duties such as lawn mowing, house cleaning, and errand running.

In truth, I do realize that a short break is needed in order to mentally prepare myself for what’s to come in Book Three and to also put the 100,000 words/400 pages of Book Two behind me. I suppose before I do that, however, I should first pause for a moment and take a look at the title of Book Two and its importance to the second arc of the story.

Bas-relief from the Arch of Marcus Aurelius
Bas-relief from the Arch of Marcus Aurelius

While the title for Rising Sun was quite fitting – after all, it’s the incredible true story of a young man who goes to war, faces tragedy, finds himself on the wrong side of a civil war, and eventually rises to prominence in Rome despite the customs of their ancient culture – the title “Triumphator” has just as much significance and deeper meaning for me.

So what’s a triumphator? It’s a Latin word for an individual who was granted a triumph – or ceremonial parade – in Rome after an overwhelming victory on the battlefield. In the case of my protagonist Pompey the Great, it’s a rather weighty title to bear. Gnaeus Pompey Magnus was such a custom-breaker throughout his life that the middle part of his story can be summed up in a quote from Bruce Barton that’s captured within the book’s opening pages:

We pay just as dearly for our triumphs as we do for our defeats.

1966908_307720259384789_5434552325962149311_nAfter struggling for weeks and weeks to find two quotes that fit the tone and theme of Triumphator, I easily latched on to that one and never let it go. The words above are such a fitting description of his middle years that it would be an affront not to use them as the bridge that leads my readers into the second part of his story. Triumph and defeat, victory and loss…each side of the spectrum is clearly defined in Triumphator; so much so, in fact, that I literally found myself shedding tears more than once while penning the story.

Another quote from David Brinkley that I scrapped in favor of the one above is worth noting, though:

A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.

As true as the first quote is in regards to Pompey’s life, the same can thankfully be said of the second. I can’t wait for you to continue the story of Gnaeus Pompey Magnus this July! Keep your eyes out for it and my upcoming book tour across the Midwest this summer!

While you wait for its release, follow me on my Facebook page and pick up a copy of Rising Sun if you haven’t done so yet.


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