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 […]

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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INSURRECTIO is Historical Novel Society Editor's Choice!

Talk 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 […]