How a teenage writer’s debut work on the fall of Rome was inspired by death
M.J. Woodman, an Ancient History and Archaeology student, Classics enthusiast, and self-proclaimed book nerd, has written his first novel, DIVINE. The story was inspired by M.J.’s grandfather’s death and examines an alternate future in which Rome does not collapse.
In the event of corruption in a totalitarian state, Divine questions society’s expectations of weak young adults. M.J. has dedicated the book to her grandfather, who encouraged her to be her best self. M.J. has opted to dedicate her debut novel to him, despite the fact that he only saw the first few versions.
Divine is set in an alternate reality where the Roman Empire never fell and the world was never the same. It takes place in present-day Appia, which is real-world North America that has been partitioned into five Imperial fortress states as a result of a legendary conflict.
These states, known as Havens, are shielded by an invisible forcefield and designed to safeguard residents from the outside world.
Electa Steel, the female protagonist, leads a normal life in a Haven until her sixteenth birthday, when the yearly Choosing threatens to shatter her world.
Strange events lead to her becoming Chosen, and she is forced to live in her society for the rest of her life.
She is, nevertheless, one of five girls competing this year to be the next Empress of Latia, her country.
Spartaca, a secret terror group from beyond her Haven, hires her to bring down the Empire from within.
Electa is used as a pawn by Spartaca, and she must learn to adjust to the politics and power that her new existence entails.
To win the challenge, she must first seduce Prince Asher Ovicula, the future Emperor.
Then, in a series of deadly gladiatorial sports, he must overcome the other participants. But why was she chosen by Spartacus? The truth will irrevocably alter Electa’s life.
“As cliché as it may seem, being an author was always a dream of mine,” M.J stated of her love of Ancient History and why she wrote Divine.
Divine encapsulates my enthusiasm for creative writing and Ancient History, exploring an alternate, modern-day world via a powerful young lady thrust into a voyage of self-discovery, from the beginning at the age of 13 to the finishing touches years later.”