Carina Mitela is still a young inexperienced officer in the Praetorian Guard Special Forces of Roma Nova. Disgraced and smarting from a period in the cells for a disciplinary offence, she is sent out of everybody's way on a seemingly straightforward mission overseas. All she and her comrade-in-arms, Flavius, have to do is bring back a traitor from the Republic of Quebec. Under no circumstances will she risk entering the Eastern United States where she is still wanted under her old name Karen Brown. But when she and Flavius discover a conspiracy that reaches to the highest levels of Roma Nova, what price is personal danger against fulfilling the mission?
Today I would like to welcome author Alison Morton:
Tell us about your latest book
CARINA takes place between the first full-length Roma Nova thriller, INCEPTIO, and the second, PERFIDITAS and not only reveals hidden parts of Carina’s early years in Roma Nova but also tells us about her first mission overseas in North America, a place not quite as in our timeline…
Carina Mitela is still a young inexperienced officer in the Praetorian Guard Special Forces. Disgraced and smarting from a period in the cells for a disciplinary offence, she is sent out of everybody's way on a seemingly straightforward mission overseas.
All she and her comrade-in-arms, Flavius, have to do is bring back a traitor from the Republic of Quebec. Under no circumstances will she risk entering the Eastern United States where she is still wanted under her old name Karen Brown. But when she and Flavius discover a conspiracy that reaches to the highest levels of Roma Nova, what price is personal danger against fulfilling the mission?
What is your preferred writing routine?
I try to write every day, although in the week or so before a book launch, the marketing tends to eat up all my time! Usually, I aim at 1,000 words a day, but if I get stuck on a research point, that can fall to 500. My method is to bash the story out so that I keep the flow going and then go back and do a full revision/self-edit. As I have a back problem, I switch to a standing desk for part of the day. Oh, and the kettle’s on a lot for life-saving tea throughout the day.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Be persistent, but set realistic goals. You hear about writers who can dash off 2,000-5,000 words a day but don’t be intimidated by this. Go at your own pace, but keep doing it consistently. Learn to accept and analyse criticism. Done properly, it’s a critique which aims to help you, even if it seems brutal at first. I still take a deep breath seven books later when I get my editor’s email back.
What have you found to be the best way to raise awareness of your books?
Social media and personal appearances at events. If you are independently (self-) published, you have to do all the work yourself, but being active on Facebook, Twitter, your own blog and other people’s blogs raises your profile. Signings, attendance and speaking at events where you can sell your paperbacks and chat about writing is great fun as well as helping to get the word out.
For CARINA, I was thankful for being able to draw on memories of my own trip to the US and Canada. For the Roma Nova series in general, I was surprised by how much I had to refresh my own knowledge. We think we know a fair bit about the historical period or environment we’re writing in, but when doubts creep in, we should not ignore those little whispers. Check the facts again. New archaeological or manuscript discoveries for historical fiction writers or for thriller writers, new weapons, techniques and technology can ambush you.
What was the hardest scene you remember writing?
The hardest scene is the one that doesn’t flow or seem natural. That’s a warning sign to change the font to red and come back to it later. The most difficult to write emotionally is when the characters’ worst fears become real; Carina’s discovery of her lover’s deception, Aurelia’s discovery of her daughter’s rape.
What are you planning to write next?
Aha! I have several projects in the pipeline; possibly another novella, a collection of short stories, the foundation of Roma Nova in the late fourth century or perhaps something completely different. I’ll let you know!
About the Author
After a multiple-job career, Alison now writes the acclaimed Roma Nova thriller series featuring modern Praetorian heroines. She blends her deep love of Roman history with six years’ military service and a life of reading crime, adventure and thriller fiction. The first five books have been awarded the BRAG Medallion. SUCCESSIO, AURELIA and INSURRECTIO were selected as Historical Novel Society’s Indie Editor’s Choices. AURELIA was a finalist in the 2016 HNS Indie Award. A ‘Roman nut’ since age 11, Alison has misspent decades clambering over Roman sites throughout Europe. She holds a MA History, blogs about Romans and writing. Now she continues to write, cultivates a Roman herb garden and drinks wine in France with her husband of 30 years. Connect with Alison on her Roma Nova site: http://alison-morton.com Facebook and Twitter @alison_morton