Well, I said I had an idea for the Owl & The Eagle, so here it is: start the book one to two years earlier.
This may not sound like much of an epiphany, but it really makes a difference. You see, 481 BCE (the original start date) is just too transitional of a year. All the exciting stuff happens before or after this point in time. By 481 BCE, the rebellion in Babylon is over. Aegina and Athens have somehow managed to hammer out a temporary truce. Xerxes is marching to Sardis and then sits there until the next spring. Sparta is digging in its heels about going anywhere outside of its immediate surroundings. Not much fun to write about.
Then it hit me. An earlier start will open up tons of possibilities that weren't there before. I can write more battle scenes. I can explain important events leading up to the 2nd Persian War without having to resort to flashbacks or long-winded explainations (i.e. "info dumping"). I can even introduce historical figures in the first book that I wasn't planning on bringing in until much later because certain historical events allow that to be possible.
I'm pretty excited about this and hope that anyone who's interested in O&E is too. I've been trying to write this book for three years now and refuse to give up now. I have that much confidence in it. Look for an excerpt soon.