James Erwin seems a little embarrassed at how easy it was for him to turn an intriguing historical question into a literary phenomenon and a big money deal with Hollywood.
Rome, Sweet Rome wikipedia article
It was on my lunch hour; Iâ€™d just gone on Reddit.com (a website where people submit content and then vote it up or down depending on if they like it) and saw a question: â€œCould a battalion of US marines destroy the entire Roman empire?â€
I thought to myself, â€œOh, that sounds like a fun story.â€ So I just started writing.
I started at noon and I was done by 1pm. Iâ€™d expected that maybe a hundred nerds would read it and enjoy it, and that some people would have had a fun lunch hour because of me. Instead, it changed the trajectory of my life. By the time I went home at five itâ€™d had a quarter-of-a-million readers, a week later I had a manager, and a week after that I had a contract with Warner Brothers. They brought me on to write a treatment, and then a screenplay based on that treatment.
Read the whole thing.