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 […]

History? Um, we know the ending...

All writers sneak a look at their reviews – we are that human. Looking at INSURRECTIO’s, I was struck by this one: “Although I enjoyed the first three, IV and V are disappointing; particularly this one. Because they are ‘backstory’, I already knew who did what to whom from the earlier novels.”

I appreciate them taking the […]

Carina, Aurelia and the Pompeii gladius

Twenty-first century Roma Nova military train with state of the art weaponry; their firepower and weapon handling are undoubted. But they also train on a ‘volunteer’ basis with a modern carbon steel version of the traditional Pompeii gladius, a short sword in use from at least AD 79 and not uncommon in the 4th century AD.

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