We spent a great weekend in Paris at the latest Spartacus convention.

We listened to talks by the actors, had photos taken and added to our collection of autographs all the while spending time with very cool people.

My personal highlight from the weekend was getting the chance to meet Peter Mensah, who played Oenomaus in the series but was also in the film 300, he who was on the receiving end of the classic “This is Sparta!” kick.

I’ve spoken on here previously that I see certain people in my head when I write my characters so it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that when I write the character Mark, the giant, black warrior chef from The Circle of Fire, it’s Peter Mensah that I see running through the action.

During the talk he gave, I sat and took in all of the detail of what he was saying, gleaning his characters future catchphrase and I understood a great deal about what was being talked about.

All of the actors spoke about all of the processes they followed when dealing with the preparation, they all spoke about how they approached the roles in Spartacus, and in other projects, and it was shown clearly to me that in all aspects of storytelling, all of the importance that people bringing these vast tales to life, is placed on the tiny details of life. The way that all kinds of stories of all manner of genres unfold, regardless of the space ship count or the monsters crashing around, all of the importance of the story just boil down to the people.

We all just go through life fighting against our own monsters, overcoming our own barriers and doing our best to always get through. If you place every story in the crucible and burn away all of the surrounding fluff, the window dressing of settings etc. you’ll always end up confronted with the tiniest of details, the way that people are dealing with situations.

The story of Spartacus can be looked on as the struggles of life. Fighting against injustices and trying to just live. We all know that story and indeed, Star Wars could easily be seen to fit into the same box in the same way. Far away from the wider detail of the tales, the contents of the crucible reveal the same parts. It’s all about the people.

I felt energized to make some changes to what I’d already done on book two, updating what I’d said and making sure all of those people in the story have the personal stake in what’s going on and never looking beyond the vital weight that just one voice can bring to a story.

The show Spartacus is, in my opinion, a masterpiece of holding up the struggle of the little guy without it becoming just a journey of one person. I’d encourage everyone to watch the series if you haven’t already and marvel at the struggles of the people.

In conclusion, I’m adding in a tribute video from You Tube for the Peter Mensah character in the series, Oenomaus. When you see him in action, just remember that that’s how I envisage one of my characters, and when you get all the way down to it, it really is all just about the people.


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