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Joy C. Woodbury


Don’t worry about it! Life happens, of course, I understand   Best of success with school! I have about… two weeks of summer left before I start again.

Thanks for understanding! Especially ’cause my reply is rather late again. XD Best of success to you, too!

Ooh, that’s the coolest thing! Tell me the disturbing facts! *Leans forward with extreme excitement*

Haha, so I’ll tell you a couple things I learned about ancient Greek doctors. (You asked for it. 😉)

Greek physicians believed a human body consisted of four humors, or substances that fueled the body’s function. The humors were black bile, yellow bile, blood, and phlegm. The basic idea was that you couldn’t have too little or too much of any one of the humors. It had to be a perfect balance. For example, they believed depression and other mental afflictions were caused by an excess of black bile. And if a patient had a fever, it meant they had too much blood. To solve these issues, the physicians would try to increase or decrease the amount of the given humor.

So if you had a fever, they would lacerate you with a scalpel or other tool and drain as much of your blood as they saw fit into a bowl. They even had live leeches, which they would dump all over you and let the parasites suck your blood. Doctors had faith in this old method because after bloodletting, patients would turn very pale and finally be able to sleep after they had been previously flushed and restless. Of course, they didn’t know that they were actually doing a ton of harm and the patient was actually losing so much vital fluids (why they were pale) and would lapse into a blood-loss-induced coma (why they suddenly “slept” soundly). More often than not, bloodletting not only caused severe pain, it killed patients.

The doctors would also administer emetics, a substance that caused the patient to throw up, to purge them of other issues. Again, this was extremely painful and exhausting, causing severe nausea and vomiting, causing patients to lose tons of fluid and weight until their body finally couldn’t take the torture anymore.

Yep. It’s not too pleasant. XD

LOL, what are the weirdest things you’ve researched for your novel?

So I had to research ancient Jewish torture (Mishnah Makkot was extremely helpful with this, although quite graphic, to say the least!). I’ve also researched, “Can a blow to the head kill you instantly?” “When did people begin using eating utensils?” “When was the term ‘okay’ coined?” (XD I kept making my characters say that until I realized “okay” is def not a word you use in Biblical fiction.) I’ve also researched pagan beliefs, the Greek pantheon of gods, the purpose of temples, and popular ancient Greek myths, mythology figures, explanations of natural phenomena, and their purposes. (Also, the Romanized versions of all these.)

Here’s some off the top of my head: “Do cows vomit?” “What does a raven sound like when it imitates humans?” “What are the symptoms of broken ribs?” “How do you put in stitches?” All kinds of stuff about weaponry, medieval alchemy and chemistry, and a shocking amount about poisons.

I’m not even gonna ask about the cow query. 😂 All those are awesome and pretty interesting!

Oh, and some stuff requires hands-on research. My main character uses a sling? Nothing else to do except braid one and practice. (I actually figured out some pretty interesting stuff by trying it. For example, overhand, underhand, and around your head are all really tricky and you’re totally going to launch something in the wrong direction and the easiest way is by swinging the loaded sling in a flat figure eight in front of you.)

One of my main characters throws her wooden clogs at someone as an improvised weapon? I happen to own clogs, guess what I did?

Wow, that’s commitment! R E S P E C T. I haven’t actually done any hands-on research. Braiding a sling sounds tough! Also, clogs do sound like an intense weapon. XD

I like Temira the most! It’s an awesome name, and the spelling is really cool! I think it suits her! Liorah’s name was originally spelled Leora but I didn’t like that. And because vowels are optional in Hebrew, I changed it a bit XD

Thanks! I think it does, too!

I personally like Liorah better than Leora. For another “L” name, I really like the name Lenore, as well.

Aww, smol Temira! That’s so cute <3 Faye is my five-foot-nothing smol character. Liorah is like… 5’10” or 5’11” and towers over everyone, even some of the male characters XD I don’t see a lot of that in fiction and I thought it was cool XD

It’s especially funny whenever Liorah and Faye have to go anywhere because Liorah always strides and is like a head taller than Faye so it’s a constant “Wait for me, I have little legs,” scenario and it’s so freaking cute XD

I knoww. She’s adorable XD

Ooh, I love to see a tall female character! You really don’t see that a lot. That’s a hilarious interaction between the characters! 😂

Hakan is a Turkish name that means King. I named him King King.

Oh my goodness, how funny! There’s a bit of irony in a name like that. LOL.

Exactly! I must say, I love it when I notice that in books.

Me too!

That’s so cool! Aww, I feel so sorry for her    Poor Ariella!

Same here. She’s a bit of an antagonist character, but I love her. I feel so empathetic toward her, and that’s what I want readers to feel as well. Ariella is meant to shed light on another part of Paul’s story, which really is awful when we’re willing to think about it. I find that lots of people kind of dismiss how Paul hurt so many people when he was a persecutor and just focus on his conversion. Don’t get me wrong, the conversion is beautiful, but the past still exists and we can’t just pretend it doesn’t. There are still people he hurt, and Ariella represents them. One of the biggest themes of TAS is redemption, so every major character provides a different outlook on the concept of redemption. There are so many sides and so many ways to approach that subject; it isn’t just black and white. Ariella’s character presents the question, “Can a person really be redeemed if they’ve done truly horrible things (like been a murderer)?” My purpose with her is to force readers to have to consider it for themselves, get them conflicted about it like, “Maybe Paul really does deserve to feel guilty and ashamed.” It’s absolutely fascinating.

In the rain the pavement shines like silver
All the lights are misty in the river

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