Today’s superhero rides a Roman segway? Read on and find out more…
According to Wikipedia, ‘a superhero is a type of heroic character possessing extraordinary talents, supernatural phenomena, or superhuman powers and is dedicated to a moral goal or protecting the public.’ Sounds like a writer to me!
Join me as another one of these unsung superheroes invites into their personal ‘batcave’.
If you were to write the ‘origin’s episode’ of your writing what would be the most important scenes? What did your early efforts look like? Are they still around to be used as bribes and blackmail material?
On a hot day in north-east Spain, I was mesmerised by my first Roman mosaic pavement. My father told me about the soldiers and senators, traders and farmers, opportunists and orators who had ruled the known world in the first century AD. That started my decades long career as a ‘Roman nut’.
The first draft of my first novel is locked away secure in the cloud. This is where it should and will stay. (Moves swiftly on…)
All superheroes have their mild-mannered secret identity, what is yours? I promise we won’t tell.
I pretend to be a lady of leisure, but my secret identity is complex: ex-soldier, translator, business owner, and government employee.
Who are your partners in crime? What are their superpowers?
An eagle-eyed velociraptor as a critique partner and a fearsome structural editor – She Who Must Be Obeyed.
Where do you get your superpowers from?
I talk a lot, so communication seems to come naturally and I love imagining and telling stories. The other sources are a deep love of history, six years of military service and a desire to relive my kick-ass heroine past. And I’m always watching people…
Where is your secret lair and what does it look like?
In the semi-basement of our house is a bat-cave…
What kind of training do you do to keep your superpowers in world saving form? How do you insure they are used only for good?
Practice makes perfect, so I write a lot. I also visit museums and Roman ruins all over Europe, especially in warm places. Obviously, this is research, not a holiday… I speak and give workshops about writing and publishing, so I make sure I keep at least one step ahead of my audience. 😉
Focusing on world peace and reader satisfaction guide me to using my superpowers for good. I hope.
Granted, you probably don’t get to wear your superhero costume a lot, but if you did, what would it look like?
What is your kryptonite? What are the biggest challenges faced with in your writing?
Time-sucks like Facebook (but I’m addicted), dithering, Real Life
What was the super villain that threatened to stop your latest project and how did you vanquish it?
Going on a seven week tour of the US and Canada last summer. It was hectic, I loved every minute of it but I didn’t write a word. When I came back, I sat down and forced out 2,000 words a day for a week, then it flowed again.
What important lessons have you learned along the way?
Persist and keep your faith in your writing. Plot well. Bash your story out, then go back and edit. Work with a team of carefully selected professional help.
What have been the best/most memorable experiences along the way? Opening the box of books from the publisher and holding my first book, INCEPTIO, in my hands. Unrivalled.
If you did this again what would you do differently and what would you not change?
I don’t think I would do anything differently – it’s been and still is a blast!
What is the best (writing or otherwise) advice you have ever gotten and why.
“Be nice” This was in one of my former lives as a translation business owner. I was at a business seminar on customer relationship management. But the same attitude applies when approaching agents, interacting with other authors and your editor, when pitching for speaking spots, asking for help to dig out obscure research or asking advice generally. Being nice goes a long way.
Tell us about your new book and why we need to drop everything and get it now.
AURELIA is an exciting Roman thriller set an alternate world where a strong, intelligent heroine runs a story stuffed with twists and turns. But Aurelia herself has an Achilles heel…
It’s the late 1960s in Roma Nova, the last Roman colony that has survived into the 20th century. Aurelia Mitela is alone and forced to give up her beloved career as a Praetorian officer. But her country needs her unique skills. Somebody is smuggling silver – Roma Nova’s lifeblood – on an industrial scale. Sent to Berlin to investigate, she encounters the mysterious and attractive Miklós, a known smuggler who knows too much and Caius Tellus, a Roma Novan she has despised and feared since childhood.
Barely escaping a trap set by a gang boss intent on terminating her, she realises that her old enemy is at the heart of all her troubles. She pursues him back to Roma Nova desperate now he has struck at her most vulnerable point – her young daughter.
You can watch the AURELIA book trailer (with exciting music!) here: https://youtu.be/K5_hXzg0JWA
What’s in store for you in the future? Do you have any other big projects on the horizon?
The next Roma Nova thriller, INSURRECTIO, is due out this month and I’m writing the sixth one at the moment. After that, world domination.
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