Today I welcome the lovely Alison Morton to the blog to talk about her debut novel – Inceptio – published today. Congratulations, Alison!
For Sue Moorcroft’s blog 1 March
Thank you for welcoming me to your blog, Sue.
Today, is a very special day – my debut novel, INCEPTIO, is published. Hooray! Three years of slog – researching, writing, and polishing – have led to this exciting moment of holding my book in my hands. But it started when I was eleven years old with a day-dream under a hot Spanish sky.
Not many Year 6 children are obsessed by ancient peoples, history or archeological sites. But I was that sad kid. Fascinated by the mosaics in Ampurias (huge Roman site in Spain), I asked my father, “What would it be like if Roman women were in charge, instead of men? If it was now?” Maybe it was the fierce sun boiling my brain that day, maybe it was just a precocious kid asking a smartarse question. But clever man and senior ‘Roman nut’ that he was, my father replied, “What do you think it would be like?” Off went my brain on a dream…
Real life intervened (school, university, career, military, marriage, motherhood, business ownership), but the idea bubbled away in my mind and INCEPTIO slowly took shape. Three years ago, in a ninety day burst, I’d written the first draft of 95,000 words. Of course, like many first drafts it was raw, but since then it’s been edited, tempered and burnished. And I’ve learned what the craft of writing demands…
Does dreaming still help me write books? I know that if I’m trying to work through a glitch in the plot or develop dialogue between two people, I’ll often wake up in the morning with the answer. Sometimes I’m aware I’ve been dreaming, more often not. And it usually takes until I’ve finished in the shower for the new words to exit my brain in a coherent form.
In popular culture, Romans believed dreams were messages from the gods sent to reveal their wishes and took them very seriously. Emperor Augustus – cynical and politically adept – ruled that anyone who had a dream about the state was, by law, to proclaim it in the marketplace. The Roman writer Artemidorus (c. AD 150) concluded that dreams were unique to the dreamer and that the dreamer’s occupation, social status and health affected the symbols in their dreams.
Stories with Romans are usually about famous emperors, epic battles, superstition (back to dreams and their interpretation!), depravity, intrigue, wicked empresses and a lot of sandals, tunics and swords. But imagine the Roman theme projected sixteen hundred years further forward into the 21st century. How different would that world be? Transferred from a dream into reality, this is one of the things INCEPTIO explores…
New York – present day, alternate 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 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 released today as both paperback and eBook, in the UK
and in the US: http://www.amazon.com/Inceptio-Roma-Nova-Alison-Morton/dp/1781320624
And next? I’m working on PERFIDITAS, the second book in the Roma Nova series where it all turns into a bit of a nightmare.
You can read more about Alison, Romans, alternate history and writing at:
http://www.alison-morton.com, http://www.facebook.com/AlisonMortonAuthor and follow her on Twitter @alison_morton