Readers have asked me if I have a particular person in mind when I write about the characters in the four Scipio novels. As writers will tell you, it’s very helpful to have someone in mind who characterizes the appearance, values and personality of the character you are writing. By having an image of the character, you can better stay on track when you write about them over the hundreds of pages of your books.
Pomponia is one of my readership’s favorite characters. Little is known about Pomponia, but I have cast her as a clever and strong-willed politician who exercises her wits and sexuality for maximum political effect within the gender-constrained opportunities of ancient Roman society.
For me, Pomponia must be queenly, as befits the widowed matron of a powerful Roman family. She is beautiful enough to play sexual politics with the Senators she must sway, but is a caring mother who’s wisdom guides Scipio Africanus’ early development.
I chose Lucy Lawless of Xenia fame as the Pomponia prototype, as depicted in the Spartacus TV series. Gorgeous, intelligent, and ruthless to her ends, she is the power behind the Scipio family and the Hellenic party.