Steven Saylor

Literary Birthday – 23 March – Steven Saylor

Happy Birthday, Steven Saylor, born 23 March 1956.


  1. Writing a first novel takes so much effort, with such little promise of result or reward, that it must necessarily be a labour of love bordering on madness.
  2. I’m like the painter with his nose to the canvas, fussing over details. Gazing from a distance, the reader sees the big picture.
  3. Not write what you know, but know what you write. If you write about a world before, after, or other than this one, enter that world completely. Search it to find your deepest longings and most terrible fears. Let imagination carry you as far as it may, as long as you recount the voyage with excitement and wonder. But this is the most important rule: write the book you most long to read.
  4. All writing is an act of self-exploration. Even a grocery list says something about you; how much more does a novel say?
  5. Some men are one thing on the surface and another underneath. The true poet shows not just the exterior of his subject, but all the contradictions within, and lets the reader draw his own conclusions.
  6. Even the crudest, most derivative novel is an expression of the author’s hopes and fears and ideas about good and evil.
  7. We all have a lot of people inside us, yet we get to live only one life. Fiction lets us slip into someone else’s skin, so to speak. That’s why we read novels, and also why we write them – to experience more life, through imagination.

Steven Saylor is an American author of historical novels. Saylor is best-known for his Roma Sub Rosa historical mystery series, set in ancient Rome.

Source for photo: via Steven Saylor. Photo credit: Louis LaSalle

Source for quotes

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 22nd March 2020