The world of CARINA

CARINA launched two weeks ago amid lovely comments, tweets and posts and reviews are starting to accumulate (Exciting!).

Carina visits a number of places when she is sent to North America to carry out an important mission and I thought you might like to find out the ‘North America’ of the alternative Roman world.

Roma […]

Why is CARINA (just) a novella?

Good question! I’ll try and explain…

We’re still in Roma Nova, the remnant of the Roman Empire that has toughed it out into the modern age. It’s an alternative 21st century with many aspects exactly the same as in our own timeline, but some are very very different; Praetorian Guards for one. They guard the […]

Power grabs

The Death of Caesar, Vincenzo Camuccini, 1798 (public domain)

In ancient Rome, grabbing power was the default way to become emperor. Even in the Republic, achieving consulship required some serious bribery and corruption, subverting the process, whipping up the emotions of the people with simplistic slogans and the like. Power rarely passed cleanly or […]

Why litfests are important

Signing for a reader

I was delighted and flattered when I received an invitation to speak at the Charroux LitFest here in deepest Poitou-Charentes in France. This is my home area, and being part of the inaugural year of a new litfest is thrilling. You see, I love conferences, book fairs, launches and literary […]

Quebec - a hub of history

Samuel de Champlain overlooking the St Lawrence River

I’m delighted to have visited Québec, a city at a pivotal geographic and historic place. I’m told it’s the oldest established city in North America. Well, Jacques Cartier planted a cross in the Gaspé Peninsula in 1534, claiming the land in the name of King Francis […]

Stopped by the forces of law and order

Driving along the main road, I’m happy there are only 11 kilometres to home. I slow down to pass through a village of older cream stone grey-slated houses, interspersed with Roman tile roofed single-storey homes. Halfway through, I reach the open area to the side, not even a proper village square. A blue-uniformed armed figure […]