Print Writing & Editing

From the Sands of the Arena

I designed, copyedited, and photographed the covers of Rich Field’s From the Sands of the Arena, a book of ancient Greek, Hellenic, and Roman trivia.

Rich Field is a local high school history teacher.

His interest in the ancient world is maybe only matched by his passion for drawing students into it. Rich came to me in mid-2015 with an untitled manuscript he’d been developing a long time, a book of Greek, Roman, and Hellenic trivia.

He had a series of questions and answers, organized in three sections. I copyedited them thoroughly, removed duplicate questions and answers, and placed the answers at the bottom of each page, making the book easy to pull out at a party. (Admittedly, a nerdy party.) I decided on a type treatment that would reference the material with Roman numerals and titles, but which otherwise felt modern. This is not stale trivia. Most of it was fresh even to me, a guy who spent four years slogging his way through Latin II.

We met just west of downtown Albuquerque to photograph several of Rich’s Greek and Roman sword and shield reproductions. With an eye to the sun’s location for appropriate shadow placement, and intentional editing choices, these became the front and back covers. We then drove back into downtown to shoot a bio photo.

When we were done, From the Sands of the Arena was available on Amazon.

After rich signed off on the final design and edit, I oversaw the production process through CreateSpace. I managed color, chose a creamy off-white paper for the book’s body, and a matte paper for the cover, and made all final corrections, before sending the book to press. Rich received his first batch a week before his first speaking engagement for them, a huge smile on his face.

What began with many years’ work came to me in a Word document, becoming an object as classy, inviting, and charmingly hard to classify as Rich’s text. A handsome book, well worth pulling out in any gathering of history lovers.