September Stories

Wow, so I am reliably informed that it’s Spring here in Australia. Bearing in mind that by this time last year we’d had a few days in the high 20’s and so far this month it’s barely reached 19 (that’s centigrade), I’m reserving judgement. Still, as Spring conjures up the idea of new things on the horizon and a promise in the air, I realised that an update was timely.

I have been pretty busy since my last post. The Regency Romance, Once Upon an Earl is now available, worldwide, through Amazon (for UK link click here). I decided to have two covers done, one for the USA market and one for the rest of the word, to see whether different design styles make any difference to sales.

Initially, this novel was only going to be released as an e-book, but I’ve had quite a few requests for the paperback version, so that should be added soon.  My, long suffering, technical support is away at the moment, but on his return we (or rather he) will organise that side of things. It’s quite a time-consuming process and I prefer to let the expert handle it!

I am excited to share with you that prequel to the Hannah’s Heirloom Trilogy is finished – yay! It ended up being quite a bit longer than anticipated and is not far off a proper book…certainly longer than the novella I was aiming for. Much as it’s taken quite a while to complete – researching Roman Army battle strategies, the Armenian campaign and the deteriorating situation in Jerusalem prior to the Great Jewish Revolt has been fascinating.

To complicate matters further, I decided that Maxentius and his soldiers would travel on foot from Armenia to Masada, as opposed to travelling part way by sea. A not inconsiderable distance, the soldiers would have followed well-worn trade routes, which gave me the opportunity to investigate some of the cities that they would have passed on their journey. Some, already regarded as ancient in AD62, were undergoing redevelopment usually as a result of Roman occupation, most especially, Palmyra and Damascus.

The Temple of Bel, Palmyra.
Courtesy Bernard Gagnon

Palmyra was an important centre long before it fell under Roman control. Archaeological finds date the settlement to the Neolithic era and the city was first documented in the second millennium BC. An established caravan oasis, it linked Persia, India and China with the Roman Empire, and these diverse cultural influences were manifest in its art and architecture.

The Temple of Jupiter, Damascus.
Courtesy Franco Pecchio

As with Palmyra, Damascus, positioned at the crossroads of the East and West has always been of tremendous commercial and cultural significance and is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world. Although the earliest visible physical evidence is dated to the Roman period, the name ‘Damascus’ appears in the 15th century BC on a geographical list, and human settlement can be dated to around 6300BC.  Mindful of the current destruction being wrought on these beautiful cities, I felt it appropriate to include them.

Herodium From Above. Courtesy Asaf T.

Herodion was another must on their itinerary – well, if they had to march, they might as well have some fun on the way (there was a swimming pool)! Herod the Great, arguably an architectural visionary and considered one of the greatest builders of his time, had this palace constructed between 23 and 15 BC to commemorate his victory over the Parthians.

Herodium. Courtesy Eitan Ya’aran

It is the only site which bears his name and believed to be where he was buried. Nine years after Maxentius and his soldiers visited, it was destroyed by the Romans.

Now – while frantically editing – my biggest challenge is to come up with a title for this prequel. I usually find that this, along with a synopsis is harder than writing the book itself – seriously! I have a couple of possibilities floating around, so hopefully I be able to choose one soon.

As for the second Regency romance – it is coming together nicely but is on hold while I prepare the prequel for release. It does keep intruding into my thoughts though, so I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to resist! Then there’s the mystery series….*clutches head* I need another me!

Thank you for taking the time to read my blurb, I hope you have a great day!

Rosie 🙂

Latest News

August already, this year is flying by. I have been quite busy with a few projects and thought you might like to hear about them.

I mentioned previously that I was working on a prequel to The Pomegranate Tree – and I still am – but even though this will be more of a novella than a full length book, it is taking much longer than I anticipated.

Courtesy – Konstantinos Plakidas: Wikimedia Commons

This is more to do with trying to get my head around both the machinations of the Armenian campaign – which Maxentius was part of prior to his transfer to Masada – and the deteriorating situation in Jerusalem, where Hannah was living.

On top of this, the sections relating to Maxentius are quite technical – what with battles, shifting frontiers and political alliances. Yes, I realise that it’s fiction, but I wanted to try and demonstrate a sense of what this chapter of his life was like. I must admit, though, it has been good fun being able to include things that occurred in both Hannah’s and Maxentius’ past, which are alluded to in the other books.

I also decided, after releasing Embers of Destiny, that it might be an idea to add a compilation to the mix. So The ‘Hannah’s Heirloom Trilogy’ is now available through Amazon as an e-book only (being much too big as a paperback, although I may try and work out how to release a box set at some stage).

In between researching Armenia and Jerusalem, circa AD58-66, I have written a Regency Romance (otherwise known as a ‘bodice ripper’… although to be fair, bodices mostly stay intact in mine …). It is a style of novel that I have only only recently started reading but one, which I have discovered, I can easily lose myself in. The basic scenario, like most romances, includes a hero, a heroine, an underlying plot – and of course – the romance. When I hit writer’s block during ‘Echoes,’ I began one, thinking it to be a useful distraction until I could refocus on ancient stuff. The characters wormed their way under my skin, however, and I found that I needed to see their story through to its conclusion and thus, I ended up with a proper novel.

As an aside – part way through writing Hannah’s story, I contemplated the notion of writing the odd story, set at random points throughout history each mentioning the clasp. No connecting of souls, no time shift, simply a way to follow it’s journey from my Hannah of the ancient world, to her descendent in the modern day. As they would be stand alone novels, there was no reason for them to be written in any particular order, so I decided to include the clasp into my Regency story, for although barely mentioned, now I have my first link in the chain.

As with the compilation, the Regency romance will only be released as an e-book initially, to see whether there’s enough interest to warrant a paperback version. Until I started on this story, the history surrounding the Georgian or Regency era was something about which I knew very little, so researching it has been fascinating. The Napoleonic Wars, along with the social and political changes that were occurring in England during the first quarter of the nineteenth century, offer great backdrops for a plot line, as are the shenanigans of the nobility. It’s in editing at the moment and – as seems to be a habit of mine – I loved it so much that there is a second novel in the works, involving the same characters.

So, I think that’s brought you up to date! Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. Have a great day.

Rosie.

Authors Spotlight

Authors Spotlight is a blog doing exactly what it says – placing a spotlight on authors. Its founder, Dave Mayall, someone I have ‘met’ through twitter, contacted me to ask whether I would be interested in promoting my books though his site. As I have said before, self-publishing is all well and good, but that’s just the beginning. The burden of getting your work out there is all up to you the author and any opportunity to spread the word is a boon.

The Authors Spotlight blog is a way for authors from all genres to share something about themselves, such as what inspires them and why they chose that particular style or category, the background to their work and so on, as well as offering a tantalising glimpse into the books themselves and the person who wrote them.

It is a free service, working on the basis that if Dave features an author they will return the favour and spread the word about his blog and, its a good blog. It features some very interesting posts, not just on authors, but also some rather beautiful poetry by Dave himself, along with a plentiful selection of useful tips for writers.

In this day and age of self publishing and indie authors, even authors lucky enough to land a traditional publishing deal, I believe supporting people like Dave, is important. People who create blogs and webpages purely because they love books and are interested enough to create user friendly platforms, easily accessibly to a broader public, many of whom under normal circumstances would likely never discover some of these amazing writers.

Check out Authors Spotlight, you never know who you might find there!

Silverlight Cafe Online Magazine

I am very honoured to be included in the May edition of the Silverlight Cafe Online Magazine , one of ten authors in this edition. The other nine are an incredibly talented group of people and definitely worth checking out.

This is a great way of promoting self-published, indie and new authors and gives the reader a chance to see something of the writer’s background and what inspires them.

One of the greatest challenges facing self-published authors is getting the word out. So you’ve written a book, got a great cover and told all your friends about it, now what? Trying to promote and market these novels is very hard – there are no books shop owners inviting you to display your novel in a prominent position by the door, or asking you to come and do a signing. No posters in windows encouraging people to pop in and browse through the book. It is very easy to come unstuck and begin to feel rather despondent.

Social media offers a light in the darkness, especially online magazines, of which Silverlight Cafe is a wonderful example. It’s a way of ‘meeting’ a group of authors – not always from the same genre – all in one place without having to flick back and forth between websites. It’s a chance to see what they’ve written and why, maybe read an except, even get a link to their books.

If you are interested in what makes writers tick, I’m sure you’d enjoy this magazine, just click here , or on the link above.

Interview – Novel Writing Festival

I am excited to share that I was approached to do an online interview with Matthew Toffolo of Novel Writing Festival, a website that offers a very ‘novel’ way for self published writers to promote their work. The series of questions ranged from what the themes and tone of my novels are, to my favourite movie, to who I would most like to have dinner with. It’s a brief and lighthearted way of getting to know the person behind the books and what motivates us to write.

Trying to get the message out about my novels and why someone should buy mine over someone else’s is not an easy task. The very term ‘self-published’ means exactly that – there is no well-established publishing house behind me advertising my books all over the world, organising book signings or special events on the release of a novel. Thus it’s great to have people who love books enough to offer a way of getting the word out without cost to the author.

Novel Writing Festival do offer several other platforms through which to promote books, so its definitely worth checking them out! You can also find them on Twitter at @NovelFest

If you would like to read the interview, please click here

Have a great day,

Rosie

Author of the Month – Circle of Books

I am absolutely delighted to let you all know that I have just been featured as the May ‘Author of the Month’ by Circle of Books.

Recently @circleofbooks, who is one of my very supportive Twitter friends, asked me to provide some background on both of my first two books, The Pomegranate Tree and Echoes of Stone and Fire . Information such as the historical and archaeological research for the books rather than simply their synopses, which they already had. The website offers different methods of exposure for writers, across several social media platforms.

As a self published writer, promoting my books is a challenge – there is no publisher behind me advertising them all over the world, organising book signings or special events on the release of a novel. Thus it’s great to have people who love books enough to promote them without cost to the author.

Expecting simply to be mentioned as a writer, I was most surprised and very honoured to be made Author of the Month, for May and thought you might like to check it out!

Have a great day,

Rosie