Gadding about - and finishing in Bristol fashion

With Rachel Abbott

With Rachel Abbott at the SilverWood Books social in Bristol

If you read this blog regularly, you’ll have seen that I’ve almost earnt a frequent flyer gold card!

No, not really, but I seemed to have trudged along miles of airport corridors and lived in so many hotel rooms I can’t remember which was where. Yes, it’s been hard work, but I’ve had fun.

January, two fab book launches with Denise Barnes and Jo Cannon

February, an admin trip to Exeter where I met up with Helen Hollick, Ruth Downie (AURELIA endorser) and Richard Lee of the Historical Novel Society

April, launch of INSURRECTIO at the London Book Fair

May, speaking at the Wrexham Festival of Words  I also ran a workshop here in France in May for the Charroux Literary Festival

June, two talks at the St Clémentin FêteLitt here in France and meeting poet Lemn Sissay, and authors Patricia Duncker and Roisin McCaulay

July,talk and panel member at the Romantic Novelists’ Association conference then treated myself later in the month to Theakston’s Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate

September, meeting historical fiction colleagues, chairing the panel on indie publishing, plus helping on front of house (plus on PR team and Indie organiser) then back to the UK to be on the historical fiction panel at the Triskele LitFest

Early October, I took three days out and did a writing retreat in Dorset then went to Leeds to meet up with my university class of many decades ago. Weird or what?

UNI reunion in Leeds

The class of ’74!

Lastly, I ended up in Bristol for the SilverWood Writing Day on 29 October, a fringe event to the Bristol Festival of Literature and very smoothly organised by Helen Hart and the SilverWood team.


With fellow scribe Lucienne Boyce


I went a day early and met up with fellow writer Lucienne Boyce for lunch and a long chat. Meeting fellow writers is a great joy; we don’t bore other people and we get a chance to talk shop as well as put the world to rights. She also gave me a mini tour of historical Bristol.




Stephen Oram reading his comic story about cannabalistic robots

The writing day on the 29th started with a fascinating panel event with three sci-fi writers and three eminent scientists from the Bristol Labs discussing all kinds of futures involving robots.

On balance, the writers took a pessimistic view,  the scientists a more optimistic one of future developments. Both were interested in the ethics and the future financing of research.


Next, I was a panel member on historical research and looking at writing and researching at the extremes – fighting, war, invasion, apocalypse… And I waved my gladius around. Goodness knows what I was saying to the other panellists in the photo! Any caption suggestions?


What am I saying to Lucienne Boyce, David Ebsworth and Wendy Percival on the historical research panel? (Photo courtesy of Ann McCall)

In the following session, I gave some tips on pitching your novel, spouted my own, then led the critique on other people’s pitches. It was quite gentle, but everybody said they’d learnt a lot from it.

Afterwards, I was very happy to sit back and hear how indie superstar Rachel Abbott had sold 2 million books.


Emily Heming, senior publishing assistant, SilverWood Books, Rachel Abbott and SilverWood Books’ publishing director Helen Hart

The day rounded off with wine and buffet. I flew back the following day having enjoy my Bristol trip very much, but very pleased to be going home for the rest of the year.

Now I have to get on with my next writing project!


Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers, INCEPTIO, PERFIDITAS, SUCCESSIO and AURELIA. The fifth in the series, INSURRECTIO, was published in April 2016.

Find out more about Roma Nova, its origins, stories and heroines… Get INCEPTIO, the series starter, for FREE when you sign up for my free monthly email newsletter

4 comments to Gadding about – and finishing in Bristol fashion

  • WOW! What an exciting and stimulating life you have been leading Alison. It is so interesting to follow all your various events. I have always wished to attend a writing class somewhere…anywhere to share a few days with fellow amateurs. Sadly, married life, bringing three boys a teaching career followed by becoming a victim of M.E. has meant I have never achieved this. It is such a pleasure therefore to read of all the fascinating times you have been having since you wrote your fab books. Thank you for sharing and I am wondering if you are now looking forward to a few months at home or whether you will miss the ‘bright lights’ Perhaps a bit of both. Take care now.

    Leila x

    • Alison Morton

      Well, it will be nice not to be getting on plane for a month or two! But I have a couple of things in the pipeline for next year…
      I also have another writing project which I must get started, so the quiet winter evenings are good writing times.

  • Extreme travel, author style! I am filing this in my Book Marketing folder.

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