The Tyrant series began with my desire to write a book that would allow me to discuss the serious issues of war and politics that are around all of us today, while still entertaining with the day to day life — hopefully an accurate view of it — of the soldiers of the Hellenistic world. I was returning to school and returning to my first love — Classical history. And I wanted to write a book that my friend Christine Szego would carry in her store — Bakka-Phoenix bookstore in Toronto. The combination — Classical history, the philosophy of war, and a certain shamanistic element — gave rise to the Tyrant series which I now expect to run to at least five books and span the period from 335 BC to 300 BC when complete.
Along the way, I met Prof. Wallace and Prof. Young, both very learned men with long association to the University of Toronto. Professor Wallace answered any question that I asked him, providing me with sources and sources and sources, introducing me to the labyrinthine wonders of Diodorus Siculus, and finally, to T. Cuyler Young. Cuyler was kind enough to start my education on the Persian empire of Alexander’s day, and to discuss the possibility that Alexander was not infallible, or even close to it. I wish to give my profoundest thanks and gratitude to these two men for their help in re-creating the world of fourth century BC Greece, and the theory of Alexander’s campaigns and the wars of the Diadochi that underpin this series of novels. Any brilliant scholarship is theirs, and any errors of scholarship are certainly mine. I will never forget the pleasure of sitting in Prof. Wallace’s office, nor in Cuyler’s living room, eating chocolate cake and debating the myth of Alexander’s invincibility.