What’s your favorite place in the entire world? Rome
How has your upbringing influenced your writing? I was raised by a geography teacher and a historian so I learnt to look at everything around me carefully and encouraged to ask why and who and what. Really useful for a writer but I’m not sure my teachers appreciated it.
When we went on holiday in various European countries as a child, it was quite normal to me to love glaciers, moorland, rivers and mountains, Roman aqueducts, roads and arches.
When and why did you begin writing? I’d played around with words much of my life – playwright (aged 7), article writer, local magazine editor, professional translator and dissertation writer. But I came to novel writing in reaction to a really, really bad film; the cinematography was good, but the plot dire and narration uneven.
‘I could do better that that,’ I whispered in the darkened cinema.
‘So why don’t you?’ came my other half’s reply.
Ninety days later, I’d completed the first draft of INCEPTIO, the first in the Roma Nova thriller series.
How long have you been writing? All my life! Little plays and stories as a child, then professional papers and articles later. As a translator for many years, I was used to selecting and testing words and expressions all day long, evaluating them for worth and weight. But the imagination was bubbling away underneath the precision of everyday. I’ve had the story of Roma Nova developing in my head for around fifteen years so when that writing trigger was pulled in my head in 2009, I was ready to tell it.
When did you first know you could be a writer? After three years of developing the first manuscript when I was starting the third one, I suddenly realised that what I was producing wasn’t too bad. And I was getting thoughtful and encouraging rejections from agents. All said my writing was good, but the alternate history angle put them off in today’s hard publishing environment. Then I had an assessment from quite a tough consultant who said it was one of the best she’d seen. I had a sudden surge of confidence and knew I’d taken a huge leap upward.
What genre are you most comfortable writing? I love reading adventure, spy and thriller stories, especially with a historical context, so alternate history was a natural field for me. I was particularly inspired by Robert Harris’ international bestseller, “Fatherland”, set in a Germany where Hitler had won the war. But the front story is a crime thriller, plus there’s a touch of romance. And that big shock…
Intrigue, mystery and a challenge are essential subjects for me, but I also like to develop my characters and put them in as much trouble as I can so they have to struggle.
The first in a series of exciting alternate history thrillers set in mysterious Roma Nova.
New York, present day. 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 and a ready-made family. 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…
I held the pen a few inches above the form. Scarcely seventy-two hours after being terrorised by government thugs, I was signing away something that other people desperately sought from that same government. Naïvely, they thought it gave them protection, rights and status. But I’d discovered the hard way what an illusion it was.
I duly signed K Brown. Would I ever use that signature again?
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Genre – Thriller (Alternate History)
Rating – PG13
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