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Here's Jonathan's account of how Solomon began.

"In 2006, while creating my website, I wrote a short story about Bart that I planned to post online. It featured his fabled meeting with King Solomon, 3000 years before the events of The Amulet of Samarkand. Bart was building Solomon’s Temple and got into trouble by illegally taking on the guise of a gorilla. The irate king sent him out into the desert to hunt for robbers. Bart went out, fought a couple of demons and came back. The second half didn’t work very well, but the bit with Solomon felt great. I decided not to post the story, but wait until I knew how to finish it properly. So I put it in a drawer and went off to write a very different adventure: Heroes of the Valley.

In 2008 I returned to the idea. To begin with I was keen on a book of short stories, with tales from throughout Bart’s career. Solomon’s Ring was going to be one of them. I did some research; I went to the British Museum and looked at ancient artefacts; I read about the history of the Middle East. I became very interested in ancient Sheba too.

Asmira’s home city of Marib.
Here’s a sketch map I did for The Ring of Solomon, showing the areas the story covers.
Here’s part of a timeline I did to make sure that everything
that happened in the book was properly aligned.

In late 2009 I decided the short story collection wasn’t working, and decided to develop the Solomon story into a novel. I wrote the text in a couple of drafts and finished the editing by July 2010. The Ring of Solomon was published three months later."

Below are some structural notes I made about Asmira and Bart’s assault on Solomon’s palace.