INSURRECTIO is Historical Novel Society Editor's Choice!

INSURRECTIO_HNS Editor's ChoiceTalk about unexpected! You write a book, possibly the fifth in a series, launch it, get some lovely reviews, some friendly blog guest posts and general congratulations then you go back to writing the next one. Imagine when an email pings into your inbox saying this book has been reviewed by the Historical Novel Society and chosen as an indie Editor’s Choice!

Juno!

To be chosen for an HNS review is the first step; not every book gets past this stage. To receive a good review from this well-respected society is wonderful. To be selected as an Editor’s Choice means a rush for the champagne bottle. Now, this is the third time this has happened – SUCCESSIO and AURELIA have been thus honoured and AURELIA  is one of four finalists in the 2016 HNS Indie Award – but it’s no less exciting the third time than the first time, believe me!

So what did they say?

Ms Morton returns to the world of Roma Nova in her series about an alternate history of Europe, where the Roman Empire survives as a small alpine country.

Aurelia Mitela has retired from her former military career and is a politician charged to serve, protect and guide the new Imperatrix, Severina – who is not the woman her mother was, and her weakness proves fatal.  Aurelia must fight against the enemies of Roma Nova, to do what she knows is her duty even if it goes against everything she believes in.

Roma Nova does not exist, but from Ms Morton’s portrayal you are in doubt that this little state is not real. It is perfectly portrayed, perfectly explained, without feeling like a politics lesson.  With a deft touch, Ms Morton gives us a matriarchal society that is not in any way a feminist stronghold, but just is.

Aurelia is a character the reader cares about.  We smile when she smiles, we flinch when she flinches.  Her progress through the story is not easy, and the reader is there every step of the way with her.  She is surrounded by people that you have to feel something for, be it respect, liking or loathing. Love them or hate them, they are real, rounded and believable.

Technically not falling into the HNS boundary of a novel set pre-1960s, this story does have a firm place among the more straightforward idea of historical fiction because books such as this cannot be recommended highly enough. As long as you can accept the ‘what if’ premise of history, and that Ms Morton will put you through the wringer and your journey as a reader will not be easy, you will love this.

https://historicalnovelsociety.org/reviews/insurrectio/

Thank you, Historical Novel review team, and thank you, Fortuna.
Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers, INCEPTIO, PERFIDITASSUCCESSIO and AURELIA. The fifth in the series, INSURRECTIO, was published on 12 April 2016.

Find out Roma Nova news and book progress before everybody else, and take part in giveaways by signing up for her free monthly email newsletter.

Roma Nova goes audio!

Alison with Carole BlakeYou may remember that in January this year I signed up with Blake Friedmann Literary Agency who now represent me for ancillary rights (translation/foreign rights, audio, large print, TV & film, etc.).

Well, exciting news – and you are the first to know it – they’ve negotiated a contract with Audible to produce audio versions of INCEPTIO, PERFIDITAS, SUCCESSIO and AURELIA.

Of course, I rushed for my champagne glass!

Audible_logoAudiobooks are a great antidote to the problem of never having enough time to read for pleasure. You can ‘read’ a book while doing other things: on the daily commute, walking the dog, cooking and cleaning, at the gym(!) or if you’re painting and decorating, gardening, or just lounging around.

On a practical level, it’s ideal for readers with poor eyesight or eyestrain or those of us who work on the computer all day! You can listen on an MP3 player, in the car on a CD player, a computer, a home sound system, on a Kindle, etc.

I bet you can think of even more times and places to listen.

Told you it was exciting. 😉 It’s going to be weird hearing Carina and Conrad ‘speaking’…

 

Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers, INCEPTIO, PERFIDITASSUCCESSIO and AURELIA. The fifth in the series, INSURRECTIO, was published on 12 April 2016.

Find out Roma Nova news and book progress before everybody else, and take part in giveaways by signing up for her free monthly email newsletter.

2016 London Book Fair - launch, listen and learn

LBF panelSo, 2016 London Book Fair. What a blast!

As I sit on a train heading towards the Kent countryside for a few days’ recuperation, I’m trying to round up my brains. It’s a good thing we take photos, or I’d lose track.

INSURRECTIO, the fifth Roma Nova thriller, was due to be launched on the Tuesday, so clad in my 1980s green ‘networking jacket’ – the book is set in the 1980s – I headed to the SilverWood Books stand. As I approached it, my name and INSURRECTIO in large Roman letters blasted out at me. What a great panel SilverWood Books had done for me!

Kobo interview

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’d hardly put my bag down when I was whisked off to the Kobo stand for a video interview. Diego Marano is a focused, but gentle, interviewer and although I’m sure I burbled; he seemed to think it went satisfactorily. Of course, it’s all in the editing…

Then chatting and mingling with SilverWood’s Helen Hart and team, with potential and current authors. After an entertaining talk by bestselling author Peter James and catching up with friends from the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLI), and lunch with a fellow Romantic Novelists’Association (RNA) author, it was back to the stand for launch preparation. The wine arrived, so I knew we were ready!

LBF_SWB4

Critique partners

With critique partner Denise Barnes

 

 

 

Well, nobody yawned or threw their drink at me and some laughed in the right places, so I think it went well. 😉

With Jane Davis

With Jane Davis

Chatting at the launch

With Alison Layland (left) and Stephanie Zia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With Helen Hart

Helen Hart, Publishing Director at SilverWood Books

With Harvey Black

Harvey Black, another featured SilverWood author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With Karen Inglis

Karen Inglis buying for her thriller-loving husband

With Christina Courtenay

With Christina Courtenay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ALLies

‘ALLies’

RNA at INSURRECTIO LAUNCH

The RNA contingent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I staggered back to the hotel that evening (from tiredness!), I was overwhelmed by the volume of photos posted during the launch and the congratulations flooding Twitter and Facebook. I spent four hours trying to reply to all of them.

This continued through Wednesday, online and with visitors to the SilverWood stand during the day and at the ‘Meet the Authors’ drinks that evening.

I managed to squeeze in a few talks and seminars; ALLi talking about how to  sell more books and Tracy Chevalier on her new Shakespeare project.

With E M Powell

E M Powell, one of INSURRECTIO’s endorsers!

With Orna Ross

With Orna Ross of ALLi

And people continued to visit the SilverWood stand to say hello on Thursday.

At the ALLi drinks party that evening (sponsored by Amazon – thank you!) people were still talking about it all.

I sold all ten books I brought with me which was not only satisfying, but made my suitcase a lot lighter for the journey home. People were/are so generous in supporting me, not least SilverWood Books who pulled out the stops for the launch.

 

**Book trailer, endorsements and  buying links for INSURRECTIO**

Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers, INCEPTIO, PERFIDITASSUCCESSIO and AURELIA. The fifth in the series, INSURRECTIO, was published on 12 April 2016.

Find out Roma Nova news and book progress before everybody else, and take part in giveaways by signing up for her free monthly email newsletter.

INSURRECTIO publication day!

INSURRECTIO arrivesToday, my fifth Roma Nova thriller is out in the world. Wow!  I say that because when I published the first in 2013, I did not imagine that I would have written four more within the next three years. Sometimes I scare myself…

It’s a mixture of sadness and relief to close the gate at the end of a long road of writing, reviewing, editing, revising, honing, tweaking, deciding about cover image, format and page order; receiving encouragement, fab endorsements and advice.

And later today, INSURRECTIO will make its bow to the world when it’s launched (with wine!) at the London Book Fair at the SilverWood Books stand 1G45.

So here is Aurelia Mitela, twelve years after we closed the pages at the end of AURELIA. She’s climbed the career ladder and is now an assistant foreign minister. She’s gained in gravitas, authority and experience.

Like any dedicated bureaucrat at that level she works long, hard hours, but despite the responsibility she’s happy; her daughter Marina has grown into a carefree young woman and Aurelia’s love, Miklós, lives with her in passionate companionship.

But by Mars, that contented life is going to be disrupted. A gathering crisis, fostered by her nemesis, that even Aurelia seems powerless to stop is going to erupt in their faces and threaten to destroy Roma Nova for good.

Find out more about INSURRECTIO

Watch the book trailer
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Where to buy INSURRECTIO

 

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Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers, INCEPTIO, PERFIDITASSUCCESSIO and AURELIA. The fifth in the series, INSURRECTIO, is published TODAY 12 April 2016.

Find out Roma Nova news and book progress before everybody else, and take part in giveaways by signing up for her free monthly email newsletter.

Why INSURRECTIO?

Destruction_Good question!

It’s about characters under pressure, their failings and struggles. Strong, sincere characters like Aurelia Mitela, although worldly wise, think that everybody has good intentions and are ready to do their best. This may seem naive; they consequently become frustrated and angry when things turn out differently.  Those who exercise power in a consensual and beneficial way and find they can’t stop a tide of irrationality based on false premises which appeal to people’s deepest emotional instincts and fears, struggle to believe it could happen. Well, it did in 1930s Europe.

If you’ve read the first three books in the Roma Nova series – INCEPTIO, PERFIDITAS and SUCCESSIO – you’ll remember that every now and again there are allusions to dark events in the past: Conrad’s parents’ early deaths; his hard childhood; his brutal stepfather, Caius Tellus; the Great Rebellion; the murder of Imperatrix Silvia’s mother; and hard survival after the rebellion.

Conrad, telling Karen (Carina) about his parents :
 … a cousin of Conrad’s mother, Constantia. A shadow crossed [Conrad’s] face at her name, but I learned why he had a distinctly un-Latin name.
“My father was Austrian,” he continued. “He was on holiday in the south, met my mother halfway up a mountain. She invited him to stay with her. They’d been together for over three years when—” He stopped and looked down. He wouldn’t say any more.
INCEPTIO

Carina, after being told about her grandmother during the rebellion:
I watched my seventy year-old grandmother at dinner that evening, trying to visualise her in combat fatigues leading an assault. She would have been forty-seven at the time.
INCEPTIO

Caius Tellus

Caius Tellus

Carina, recapping Conrad’s background to a friend:
Quintus had raised Conrad in the hard school of rural poverty after the rebellion had been defeated. Thirty years ago, Conrad’s stepfather, Quintus’s brother, Caius Tellus, had launched a coup and imposed a brutal regime that lasted barely eighteen months. But, starting years before, he’d destroyed Conrad’s innocence.
PERFIDITAS

Conrad, explaining who a fearsome older woman was:
“She’s Volusenia the Younger, Marcella Volusenia, if you will, and was the second deputy legate after Caius Tellus’s rebellion. She was my mentor within the PGSF – I owe her so much. There was no favouritism.” He half-smiled at his memories. “In fact, she was quite hard, but she stood up for me when I was treated unfairly because of my name. Most of all, she taught me how to endure.”
PERFIDITAS

Carina, considering her nemesis:
Like Caius Tellus who’d married Conrad’s mother and three years after her death launched a coup, overthrowing and killing Imperatrix Severina, Silvia’s mother. I shuddered.
SUCCESSIO

Aurelia, urging Carina to action:
“You have to stop this girl,” [Aurelia] gasped. “She’s Caius. All over again.”
No. Not Caius Tellus the traitor who had wrecked Roma 
Nova. How could Nicola be like that monster?
“Don’t agitate yourself, Nonna, please.”
“No, listen.” Her eyes glinted, hardened, surrounded by bloodshot and discoloured whites. “Promise me. Or she’ll destroy you all.”
“It’s all right, Nonna. We’ve got her. She’s in prison, awaiting trial for what she did to Allegra. Please don’t worry.”
“You don’t understand. Ask Quintus.”
SUCCESSIO

Insurrectio - High Res AW.inddWhat part had Carina’s clever and no-nonsense grandmother, Aurelia, played in the lead up to the rebellion and after it? How was her story tied up with that of Caius the traitor? In INCEPTIO, the rebellion had been over for more than twenty years, but it had a long reach for modern Roma Novans; its consequences come back with a vengeance in SUCCESSIO.

By the time I was finishing SUCCESSIO, I’d decided I had to write Aurelia’s story as a young woman, hence AURELIA which came out last year. And as I finished drafting AURELIA, I knew I had to tell the story of the rebellion, or ‘insurrectio’ in Latin. So in a few more days’ time, the world will know the story, too.

 

Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers, INCEPTIO, PERFIDITASSUCCESSIO and AURELIA. The fifth in the series, INSURRECTIO, will be published on 12 April 2016.

Find out Roma Nova news and book progress before everybody else, and take part in giveaways by signing up for her free monthly email newsletter.

Addicted to adventure fiction?

Eagle of the NinthBrought up on Treasure Island, Children of the New Forest, The Eagle of the Ninth, the Narnia books, it was hardly surprising that I developed a taste for adventure, spy and thriller books.

I did enjoy Heidi, What Katy Did and Little Women which were recommended reading for little girls at that time, but apart from Heidi who had ‘spirit’ and Jo in Little Women who showed independence, I thought the characters were a bit soppy.

I didn’t read Mallory Towers, but preferred Jennings’ school adventures. My reading heart was captured by Violet Needham’s Stormy Petrel series and then I discovered The Prisoner of Zenda

I graduated to The Saint series by Leslie Charteris, the Angélique series which I thought were rather daring, Baronness Orczy’s The Scarlet Pimpernel, wartime adventures like Ill met by Moonlight and Ice Cold in Alex, the James Bond series and I absolutely adored Modesty Blaise.

Saint around World

Angélique

IllMetbyMoonlight

Modesty Blaise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More contemporary choices include John le Carré, Tom Clancy, JD Robb and the peerless William Boyd’s Restless. Historical whodunnits like Lindsey Davis’ Falco and Flavia series, Rory Clements’ Shakespeare investigations, Steven Saylor’s Gordianus, C J Sansom’s Shardlake are firm favourites.

Modern adventures

 

I’ve left out the other genres I read – I’m a huge fan of Georgette Heyer’s Regencies and any amount of other historical and science fiction like Asimov and Heinlein –  but there just isn’t space here.

But why thriller and adventure fiction? Escape, excitement, different worlds, different experiences that I could enjoy while I was going through the business or ‘normal’ life. Given my penchant for reading about uniformed forces of law and order/imperial agents/secret orders and derring-do in general, is it any wonder I put on a uniform myself and did all sorts of interesting things as a consequence?

Well, I think you can see where the Roma Nova adventure thrillers may have come from…

 

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Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers, INCEPTIO, PERFIDITASSUCCESSIO and AURELIA. The fifth in the series, INSURRECTIO, was published on 12 April 2016.

Find out Roma Nova news and book progress before everybody else, and take part in giveaways by signing up for her free monthly email newsletter.