Embarrassed of Roma Nova catch-up

When I checked when I’d written my last post, I was horrified out of my socks. May! And it was a feature about my esteemed writing friend Jane Davis’s beautiful new book, Small EdenIt’s achingly well written – I will never be able to write such clever and evocative prose.

Since then, radio silence for which I must apologise. My excuse? Hammering on to finish my new Roma Nova story, JULIA PRIMA. I’d booked my copy editor and was writing to a deadline. First, it had to go to my critique writing partner who did a perceptive and thorough red pen job on it. Revisions followed, but at last, I sent the manuscript off to have its commas checked, the weird words and grammar pointed out and inconsistencies pinpointed.

The next phase is drawing up maps, a historical note and a list of journey stops. And inevitably asking bloggers and fellow authors (nicely) if they would host JULIA PRIMA on their blog around launch time on 23 August. People have been very kind…

In between all this, I wrote my usual column on writing and publishing for The Deux-Sèvres Monthly, the local English language magazine here in France, had my 4th vaccination against Covid-19 and voted in the National Assembly elections. Oh, and we had a heatwave which went to 40C in the shade.

At the end of June, I took myself off to the UK to participate as an author in the Eboracum Roman Festival in York. The author group was wonderful; banter, knowledge and mutual support as well as discussing body count, 1st century medicine, tribes vs. Romans, murderous innkeeping, spies and tough-guy warriors. We Roman authors are very refined…

June is a funny month in some ways – school terms ending, holidays in view, summer sunshine. Some people turn to reading more, others just want to be outdoors enjoying the weather so interest in reading can dwindle. At least, we’re no longer restricted to the old instruction from my parents in the 1960s, “Six books maximum each.” Now, we just load up our readers or phones.

I’m getting ready to go to a new festival, this time in Colchester, Roman Camulodunum an important  town that  Boudicca’s hordes completely trashed in AD 60/61. It was rebuilt, reaching its zenith in the 2nd and 3rd centuries with possibly a 30,000 population. The town was home to a large classical temple, two theatres (including Britain’s largest), several Romano-British temples, Britain’s only known chariot circus, Britain’s first town walls, several large cemeteries and over 50 known mosaics and tessellated pavements. So, plenty to see!


Fingers crossed there won’t be a train strike meaning I have to spend seven hours in coaches from Stansted to York and stand all the way back on the Monday train as two-thirds of services were cancelled due to some ne’er-do-wells stealing the copper signal cables. 🙄

Today, I’m listening to a webinar from the Society of Authors – a bit of continuous professional development – then it’s back to my maps for JULIA PRIMA. Making maps is not as easy as it looks. And I salute those who do it professionally. Thank goodness there are royalty free templates you can download from the Internet. But then you have to decide which of the experts’ views on the location of an obscure mansio to accept as you go to label the map with the Roman name.

Back to the ploughshare.


Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers –  INCEPTIO, CARINA (novella), PERFIDITAS, SUCCESSIO,  AURELIA, NEXUS (novella), INSURRECTIO  and RETALIO,  and ROMA NOVA EXTRA, a collection of short stories.  Audiobooks are available for four of the series.Double Identity, a contemporary conspiracy, starts a new series of thrillers. JULIA PRIMA, a new Roma Nova story set in the late 4th century, will be out on 23 August.

Find out more about Roma Nova, its origins, stories and heroines and taste world the latest contemporary thriller Double Identity… Download ‘Welcome to Alison Morton’s Thriller Worlds’, a FREE eBook, as a thank you gift when you sign up to Alison’s monthly email update. You’ll also be among the first to know about news and book progress before everybody else, and take part in giveaways.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.