The Roman Snails, fresh from their victory parade round their field (which has taken them all week) will also be putting in an appearance at some point, so please check the floorboards very carefully when you stand up. Alison, over to you...
''Thank you for welcoming me to your blog, Carol. Yesterday, three years of slog - researching, writing and publishing led to the exciting moment when my debut novel Inceptio was published. I've played with words most of my life - storyteller, playwright (aged 7), article writer, local magazine editor and professional translator. The idea for the novel came one evening in a darkened auditorium of our local multiplex on half-price Wednesday. We were watching a particularly dire film. The photography was gorgeous, the story total crap. 'I could do better that this,' I whispered to my other half. 'So why don't you?' Three months later I had completed thee first draft of Inceptio, the first of my Roma Nova alternative history thrillers. (The PINK SOFA is just butting in here to say that it produced its first novel, Ring of Silver, Lord of Time, as a result of a husbandly challenge; it wonders how many other writers have gone down the same path?)
I knew I needed to learn novel-crafting skills, so joined the Romantic Novelists' Association New Writers Scheme in 2010. Participation in two RNA conferences, an Arvon Foundation course in commercial fiction and the Festival of Writing at York all helped me develop my writing. And I meet some knowledgeable, generous and fun people along the way. My history MA had taught me how to research and my six years in the Territorial Army trained me to do 'guns and mud'. Perfect preparation for Inceptio.
My husband took early retirement, I sold my translation business and we decamped to France in May 2010. Surrounded by peace, fresh air and sunshine, I have written to further books in the series. I write most mornings after a short spurt on social media, and do domestic stuff in the afternoons. In the evening, I'll write a few more lines, research and
One question I'm often asked: is Inceptio about Romans? Stories with Romans are usually about famous emperors, epic battles, depravity, intrigue, wicked empresses and a lot of shouty men with sandals, tunics and swords. But project the Roman theme sixteen hundred years forward into the 21st century, and with a feminine twist. How unlike ours would that world be?
Inventing a different development in history is not for the faint-hearted. I firmly believe you have to know your history reasonably well before sending it in a different direction. I've been a 'Roman nut' since I was eleven, fascinated by my first mosaic. More importantly, I know what I don't know and am prepared to track it down.
Inceptio starts in New York - present day, alternative reality. Karen Brown, angry and frightened after surviving a kidnap attempt has a harsh choice - being eliminated by government enforcer Jeffery Renschman or fleeing to the mysterious Roma Nova, her dead mother's homeland in Europe. Founded sixteen centuries ago by Roman exiles and ruled by women, Roma Nova gives Karen safety, a ready-made family and a new career. But a shocking discovery about her new lover, the fascinating but arrogant special forces officer Conrad Tellus who rescued her in America, isolates her.
Renschman reaches into her new home and nearly kills her. Recovering, she is desperate to find out why he is hunting her so viciously. Unable to rely on anybody else, she undergoes intensive training, develops her fighting skills and becomes an undercover cop. But crazy with bitterness at his past failures, Renschman sets a trap for her, knowing she has no choice but to spring it....''
Inceptio is available in the UK on Amazon: www.amazon.co.uk/Inceptio-Alison-Morton/dp/1781320624 and in the US: www.amazon.com/Inceptio-Roma-Nova-Alison-Morton/dp/1781320624
Find Alison on: www.alison-morton.com, www.facebook.com/AlisonMortonAuthor, and follow her on Twitter @alison_morton
What an amazing concept. Alison is currently working on Perfiditas, the second book in the Roma Nova series. And now, let the soup and bread flow free! And mind the snails!!
The amphora of red wine was very welcome! And I was ultra careful *not* to tread on the Roman snails.ReplyDelete
Thank you very much, Carol, for inviting me to flop on the Pink Sofa. It was busy yesterday, especially with the local launch here in France (where I sold oodles of books!), so much appreciated.
What a fascinating concept! I'm not really into fantasy in any form - just not my thing - but I might have a try at this one, being something of a history nut too. I'm very envious of your escape to France too, Alison. That is my dream! Where so you live there?ReplyDelete
Thanks for your kind comment. I hope you give it a try. If it helps, the Kindle version is on special launch half-price offer until Wednesday. ;-)
I'm very careful not to get tied up in the fantasy side; INCEPTIO is really alternate history, so you can't have magic or spells, telepathy or weird creatures. The characters have to get out of their problems by themselves. I'm tough on them like that!
Now France was a fantasy that turned into a reality! WE are just south of Saumur on the River Loire - not too hot, not too cold.
Lovely to meet you Alison! I thoroughly enjoyed your interview and find the concept of your book most interesting. I think it's only a matter of time before Carol suggests you include the Roman Snails in one of your ( bound to be ) hugely successful and much anticipated future novels...Fight scenes could be a bit of a challenge...but I'm sure you'll manage!...Here's wishing you every success with what I'm certain will be a very popular series.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Lynn. Delighted to meet you!Delete
Not sure the snails could keep up in the fights, as you say. I get the impression they're quite peaceful creatures. ;-)
Thank you for your good wishes. I'll be working on the next book as soon as I've finished promoting this one. The big UK launch is on 12 March, so I'm polishing up my talk for that.
Alison, you are the perfect ally for helix pomatia and Westfield Town Green.ReplyDelete
Brilliant idea for a book and a fascinating interview. Thank you both. Keep on messing about!
I did translate a little note from the snails into Latin for Carol, which was a bit of fun. So Latin does have its uses. ;-)
The idea has been with me for a little while and I'm thrilled to see it published. And a little overwhelmed. And, yes, I will keep messing about.
Huge congrats to Alison! I love the book cover. It's very eye-catching.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Kelly, on both counts. The designer really did a very fine job, didn't she? So good that INCEPTIO won a cover competion a few days ago: http://alison-morton.com/blog/2013/02/27/inceptio-won-the-weve-got-it-covered-competition/Delete
I hope you like the contents as well. ;-)
Congratulations, Alison! (I must say, as a New Yorker, every day seems like "present day, alternative reality" around here.) I'm very intrigued by the concept of your book. Sounds like a fine old thriller, and I'm always an advocate mixed genres.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Anne. Your comment about New York made me chuckle!Delete
The alternate history idea is one where something either significant, or more often, some small thing happened that changed the history we know. And there's no going back - no rescue missions or waking up discovering it was only a dream. But it's huge fun as a writer working it all out.
But what I wanted to do is write a story that was engaging in its own right with the alternate history as an interwoven layer. It's definitely mixed genre, but seems to be attracting a reasonable amount of interest. ;-)
Congratulations, Alison! Fab interview and I'm intrigued by your book. Off to give it a go.ReplyDelete
Hi Juliet. "Intrigued" is good!Delete
I do hope you enjoy it. All comments and reviews, of course, are very welcome. ;-)
Congratulations on this book Alison... and on surviving an interview on the infamous pink sofa! I love the plot and it certainly sounds like a good read. I trust the Roman Snails are all still intact after your consumption of what I can only assume to be the finest of red wines.Delete
Thanks, Rosalind. The Pink Sofa was very comfortable and the red wine delicious. I did watch it with the snails. If anything had happened to them, I would have felt obliged to fall on my sword like a true Roman.Delete
Hi Alison - Great interview and congratulations on the book which sounds really intriguing.ReplyDelete
Like you, I did lots of writing courses. Having spent years writing reports and technical documents, I had to almost unlearn that style and develop new skills. Thanks also for the reminder that writing has to become a daily habit - it's a habit I've let slip of late - and intend to get back to.
You're absolutely right, Paul, you do have to get into the daily writing habit. I was talking to some friends over lunch today and describing how much 'craft and graft' there is to writing a book.ReplyDelete
Good luck with your own writing and I hope you enjoy reading mine ;-)
If anybody's around Tunbridge Wells on Tuesday, I will talking about INCEPTIO and signing the paperbacks - details here: http://alison-morton.com/blog/2013/02/12/official-launch-update/ReplyDelete