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Jess Lea first fell in love with the ancient Mediterranean world during school trips to the local museum and library. Wandering through shadowy rooms, Jess discovered a wealth of secrets and treasures: tomb paintings of dancing girls, erotic poems addressed to beautiful boys and ruthless women, folk stories of hermaphrodites and shape-changing eunuchs, and two-thousand year old portraits of people so hauntingly lifelike it was impossible to think of them as dead. Later, as an adult, Jess became fascinated by the silences in most popular accounts of history. Where were the lives of women? Of people whose genders and sexualities had made them outlaws? Writing the queer past through fiction came to seem difficult, necessary, and irresistible.