Bookmuse gives RETALIO its seal of approval.

The esteemed Bookmuse site has reviewed RETALIO and I was so moved by it I almost cried. Their reviewer understands RETALIO and the Roma Nova books in her gut as well as her heart.

“A read so painfully pertinent you could almost wish it were true. If you haven’t come across this alternative history […]

Roman women in late antiquity - a slippery fish to catch

Helena, mother of Constantine the Great (author photo, Naples Museum)

I set out to write a piece about women in the late Roman period – ambitious for a blog post I know, but I thought I could pull some threads out of a big subject and produce a digest. Not that easy, as I discovered…

‘Late […]

Shining a light - women in historical fiction

My writing friend Helen Hollick, a powerhouse of fiction production and historical fiction champion, is hosting a month long blog tour featuring heroines in modern historical fiction. She’s enlisted nine others, including me, to take part. Each Tuesday, Helen will talk about one of her heroines and introduce two further ones.

Last week (6 October), Helen gave […]

What inspired Roma Nova?

I’m often asked this when I do interviews, talks or simply chatting to readers, but I don’t think I’ve ever put it all in one place on this my own blog.

Well, three things!

The first was when I was on holiday in north-east Spain one summer. Here’s the story…

A small child, curls bobbing […]

Thank you, writing colleagues Liesel Schwarz, David Ebsworth and Anna Belfrage

I think history runs through my veins. The past is, in the cliché, a foreign country and maybe that’s what attracts us. It’s distant so it’s safe to travel there vicariously. No lobster-back Hanoverian British soldier or Greek hoplite is going to grab us, nor are we going to be press-ganged or sent to India as […]

Roma Novan heroines and gender pressure on men

The heroines we’ve met in the first three books, Carina and Aurelia Mitela, are ‘tough gals’; dedicated, strong-willed, physically and mentally resilient and tied into their sense of history and duty. Underlying all this, their driving force is their self-belief. Carina, despite her disrupted childhood and separation from Roma Nova until she was twenty-four, has […]