Roma Nova world building (1)

Over the past 8 months, readers have become very interested in Roma Nova and its people; some have wanted to sign up to live there!  I thought I’d share some of the questions they’ve asked…

Why does the heroine change name?
Carina is Karen’s real name. Her mother, who ran off to marry William Brown and live in the Eastern United States, registered Carina’s birth at the Roma Nova legation in Washington. But as their child was being raised in the Eastern United States, her parents decided to anglicize her name to Karen.

What does our heroine do on her day off?
Swims and sleeps!

FishPompeiiWhat do Roma Novans eat?
Anything! Well, standard European food, but with a bias to a Mediterranean diet, not forgetting the Roman staples of beans, olives, fish and honey. But I don’t think Carina’s diet includes garum, the traditional Roman fermented fish sauce which sounds pretty yucky.


Modern soldier_sm

Why do the characters swear so much, and by so many gods?
Many of my characters are in the police service or the military and they swear a lot between themselves – sorry! I have reduced the amount you would normally expect by about 70%.



And who else would they swear by if not Juno, Mars, Jupiter or Mercury?




What’s Roma Nova’s history?
Read this!

iStock_Mother_baby_smHow does the heroine learn Latin so quickly?
Her mother spoke Latin to her as a baby and toddler, and she went to Latin classes when younger. A little like the heroine in My Big Fat Greek Wedding  who went to Greek class every Saturday. Karen’s Latin’s rusty, but it comes back… If a language is learned in the early years, it does tend to stick in the back of the brain and the ability resurfaces when it’s triggered by the person being immersed again in that language environment.

Of course, she has two invaluable aids: a smart mouthed teenager (Aelia in the Washington Legation), and the fascinating Conrad…

Read more about world building here (Part 2)…

Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers, INCEPTIO, and PERFIDITAS. Third in series, SUCCESSIO, is out early summer 2014.

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