Daniel God frey
The author of New Pompeii talks about his time- travel tale
What is New Pompeii about?
Energy giant Novus Particles develops the technology to transport objects and people from the deep past to the present. Its biggest secret is New Pompeii, a replica of the city hidden in central Asia. Novus claims it’s a historical research facility, but new employee Nick Houghton starts to realise it may have other motives.
What sparked off your ideas?
I was reading a lot about ancient Rome at the same time as I was dusting off an old short story about time travel. The two snapped together.
Why did you choose Pompeii?
There’s a mystery behind Pompeii: where are all the people? Sure, the plaster casts are famous, but there are relatively few of them. Some academics say everyone fled… and yet ovens in the town were found to be full of carbonised loaves. The volcano, the plaster casts of people and the fact we can today take a walk around the town add up to something that’s always fascinated me.
Did you do a lot of historical research?
The tricky thing with Rome is that in many ways it seems very familiar – and in other ways it’s very alien. I hope New Pompeii continues the story of these people in the right way.
What are you working on next?
The sequel is underway, and I have a few other ideas on the back- burner.
New Pompeii is published by Titan Books on 21 June.