Sunday 3 March 2019

Inceptio by Alison Morton @alison_morton BLOG TOUR #RandomThingsTours #RomaNova #Inceptio

New Yorker Karen Brown is caught in a tangle of hot foreign agents, vicious maniacs and tough families. Running for her life, she is forced to flee from her home into the alien culture of Roma Nova, the mysterious last outpost of the Roman Empire in Europe. Who wouldn’t fear failure? Or will she tough it out and find herself?

Apart from kidnapping, heartache and a close encounter with Latin grammar, she must contend with a fascinating but arrogant Praetorian special forces captain. Plus a crazy killer wants to terminate her for a very personal reason.

Roma Nova is Karen's dead mother’s homeland. Founded sixteen hundred years ago by Roman exiles and now ruled by women, it gives her safety, a lover and a ready-made family – but at a price. Joining a law enforcement service as an undercover investigator, Karen focuses on staying alive, but is determined to find out why the killer persists in hunting her. 

Part action adventure, part military thriller, laced with romance and coming of age, this is Roman fiction brought into the 21st century through the lens of alternative history and driven by a female protagonist with heart and courage. If you enjoy thrillers and mystery books for women with twists, this is for you!

Inceptio by Alison Morton was published in paperback on 21 January 2019 by Pulcheria Press.

As part of the #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour, I'm delighted to welcome the author here to Random Things today, she sharing ten things about herself that you probably didn't know!

How did you come to be a writer?

My novel writing, well, the first rough, duff draft, started in late 2009. I’d always written one way or another – translation, academic theses, commercial copy, government papers, military reports, small business paperwork and marketing – but not fiction.

The trigger was a bad film full of terrible dialogue, higgledy-piggledy continuity and implausible plotting. I sat down the next day and bashed out 90,000 words of a story that had been bubbling in my mind for decades. That first draft was rubbish, of course and was revised and edited many times before it got near a reader!

Who gave you your first encouragement as a writer?

My now critique partner, Denise. Like me, she was a business owner but one day she bravely confessed to have written a novel. I stared at her. Then I confessed it, too. She persuaded me to join her writers’ group and we made our writing journey together, celebrating, commiserating and giving each other brutal but loving critiques.

You write thriller stories in a slightly different timeline. What can readers expect?

Thrillers must grip the reader, preferably excite their mind and heart, so apart from a complex story, I strive to make the characters within my books vivid, relatable and realistic.
In INCEPTIO, Carina develops from a relatively ordinary girl to a tough woman. It’s no wonder. She’s hunted by a government enforcer who has a very personal reason to want to terminate her, she has to come to terms with a strange, new culture in Roma Nova and a lover who cannot bring himself to tell her of his past for fear of losing her. After a traumatic attack, she is determined to be her own woman, proving to herself and others that she is independent. Of course, nothing goes well…
Her new home, Roma Nova, runs on strong Roman values and culture, a society that’s survived since the dusk of the Ancient Roman Empire. Yet because women have helped defend it for centuries alongside their men, it’s developed as ‘egalitarian plus’. With Carina, I have fun mirroring the gender roles; Jamie Bond than James Bond!

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I’m not sure! I suspect it’s a mixture of building on knowledge, exploring questions I’d like answered and experimenting with ideas. But deep down, it’s the characters. The protagonist appears in my mind, then her antagonist, love interest and comrades emerge. I let them circle around in my head, then throw a problem at them and see how they react.

Is your main character based on you?

Haha! Well, I was in the military for a few years in a special communications unit and I now live in a different country of my birth. And I am persistent. As for the rest, I couldn’t possibly comment.J

Do you sit there all day writing your book?

No. We live in France and eating and socialising sometimes take priority. However, I set myself a daily target of 1,000 words and sometimes spend the evening or early morning writing. Other times, I write before lunch and research in the afternoon.

How do you feel when you have finished writing a novel?

Finishing a book is like a little death. You become so immersed in the characters’ (rather exciting) lives and then you go back to your own (slightly boring) Real Life. Being honest, wanting to know what happens next to the characters or how they got to where they are is one of the things that causes me to start a new book!

You’ve written eight books. Tell us more!

INCEPTIO (‘the beginning’) is the first full-length featuring Carina Mitela; the others are PERFIDITAS (‘betrayal’) and SUCCESSIO (‘the next generation’). CARINA, a novella sits between INCEPTIO and PERFIDITAS.

A second group of book feature Carina’s grandmother as a young woman in the late 1960s to early 1980s; AURELIA, INSURRECTIO and RETALIO, Currently I’m writing a novella set after AURELIA. And the eighth book is a collection of short stories, ROMA NOVA EXTRA, which spans AD 370 to 2029. I used to be very hesitant about writing short fiction, but really enjoyed exploring some of the secondary characters and untold incidents of the Roma Nova.

What do you hope your book will give readers?

Entertainment and enjoyment above everything. The world of Roma Nova is imaginary but inhabited by very human people that readers can relate to. Perhaps also INCEPTIO can show them that anybody can achieve their own potential, especially women.

Some quick-fire questions

Beer or wine? Wine
Dark or milk chocolate? Dark
Tea or coffee? Yes
Winter or summer? Spring
Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones? Star Trek
Three favourite authors? Currently, Lindsey Davis, JD Robb, Mick Herron (so many left out!)

Alison Morton writes the Roma Nova thriller series featuring modern Praetorian heroines. This springs from a deep love of Roman history, six years’ military service and a life of reading crime, adventure and thriller fiction. 

All six full-length novels have received 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. SUCCESSIO featured as Editor’s Choice in The Bookseller. 

A ‘Roman nut’ since age 11, Alison has misspent decades clambering over Roman sites throughout Europe. She holds an MA History, blogs about Romans, social media and writing. Oh, and she gives talks.

She continues writing, cultivates a Roman herb garden and drinks wine in France with her husband. To get the latest news, subscribe to her free newsletter

Twitter : @alison_morton
Author Page on Facebook

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