A tale of two trilogies

One day I decided to write a book of high adventure set in an alternative, modern Rome, including a hunky hero, but with the story driven by a young woman who transformed from a prickly twenty-five year old nobody into somebody she’d been waiting all her life to become. She, Carina, went on in the next fifteen years to […]

EXCERPT for Mother's Day: Aurelia and her daughter Marina

We should celebrate mothers every day, of course. Aurelia is fierce in her protection of Marina her only child; it’s her greatest strength and her greatest vulnerability… —— Caius smiled at me this time, but it didn’t reach his eyes. ‘Your mother’s right, you know. You have a duty to look after your rather, er, […]

Awards - do they mean anything?

When I began writing novels, I knew the value of recognition in the form of awards, prizes and third party endorsements; I’d owned and run a small business for over fifteen years and been very involved in the PR side of things.

Recognition – the public acknowledgement of your ability, achievement, merits or services – is something […]

All change at Roma Nova!

When I typed the last word of the first draft of INCEPTIO in 2009 I didn’t have a clue what to do with it. After advice, professional assessment, and submitting to a lot of agents whose response was “great concept, great story, great writing – not sure I could sell it” I decided to go […]

A very peculiar feeling – spooked and thrilled

A week before Christmas, something very strange happened to my first book. The main character, Karen, stepped out from the covers and started talking. I mean, really talking, and in a young American voice (Caitlin Thorburn).

I listened and a tingle ran across my shoulders. I was spooked. There’s no other way to describe it. But […]

Eating the Roman way

A boy holding a platter of fruits and a bucket of crab(?) in a kitchen with fish and squid, on the June panel from a mosaic depicting the months (3rd century) CC Commons – creator Sailko

Food is one of the most powerful ways of conveying information about characters. It shows readers not only status and […]