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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Virtual Book Tour



                                  Virtual Tour May 2nd-May 27th, 2016


Hello everyone,




My historical novel, The Wolf of Britannia, Part I, is on a virtual book tour during the month of May from the 2nd to the 27th. Below is an interview conducted as part of that tour. For more information check the following links:


Wolf of Britannia, Part I  and   Writers Life Interview by Dorothy Thompson, editor of The Writers Life e-magazine. 




Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?


First of all, I have always liked reading historical fiction, especially, stories about the ancient world. My minor in college was Ancient Mediterranean Civilizations, and I have traveled extensively throughout the Mediterranean world and Western Europe, including England.


One of the things I noticed in reading historical fiction was that there was little written on the British Celtic king, Caratacus, who fought the Romans when they invaded Britain in 43 A.D. The major Celtic character of the First Century A.D. that has been written about extensively was the British Iceni Queen, Boudicca. After she and her daughters were humiliated and raped by the Romans, she rebelled against Rome in 60 A.D. destroying a Roman legion and killing thousands of  British Romano sympathizers.


Yet, it was Caratacus who laid the ground work for this rebellion. He waged guerrilla warfare for eight years before he was betrayed and captured along with his wife and seven-year-old daughter (she is the main character in my first novel, The Sign of the Eagle). He and his family would survive the ordeal. However, we know little about him except what is written about him by the Roman historians, Tacitus and Cassius Dio. He has been mention extensive in modern history books dealing with the Roman invasion of Britain, but little written in historical fiction. I decided the time had come write about one of Britain's earliest genuine heroes.


Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?


First of all, you need to learn how to write fiction. Take courses on creative writing/fiction in college or learn through a writers support group, I have done both. I am a member of the Spokane Novelist Group, Spokane, Washington. The group has been around for more than fifty years and most of the members are established authors. This is where I really learned to write fiction. They kept me honest. They didn't mince words when it came to critiquing my manuscripts. They trashed and trashed my work until I got it right.


Pick a topic you are interested in, not what someone else thinks you should write about. I am a retired police detective sergeant. When I first decided to write, most people figured I would write detective novels. This was the furthest thing from my mind. Twenty-five years of police work was enough for me. I had no interest in writing about crime except as to how it might relate in my historical novels.


Do your research. The old saying is true, "you write about what you know or what you have researched. In my case, it is what I have researched. I also traveled to the areas which I write about.


Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?


My publisher is Sunbury Press (www.sunburypress.com), Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. They are a traditional small press, not a vanity/indie press. I submitted to several literary agents and publishers. They were the ones who accepted my novel for publication.


Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?


Actually, I surprised to how responsive the publisher was in answering my questions, and the same went for the assigned editor (she reviewed it three times and after each time I made the suggested corrections, although I had final say).


Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?


The Wolf of Britannia, Part I, is part of a trilogy that has already been published. The other two are, The Sign of the Eagle and The Wolf of Britannia, Part II. The Wolf of Britannia, Part I, is about Caratacus's rise to power. We see him as a young prince trying to unite the southern British tribes before the Roman invasion. Part II is about the actual Roman invasion of Britain and Caratacus's war against the invaders. The Sign of the Eagle is about his grown daughter, Macha, who married a Roman army tribune, wrongfully accused of treason and her efforts to prove his innocence.


I have two more novels, in the works, The Broken Lance and The Peacekeeper. These are novels that parallel The Sign of the Eagle trilogy but seen from the Roman perspective through the eyes of a Spanish centurion. They cover the years 44 A.D. - 69 A.D. They should be published sometime late in 2017.


Q: What’s your favorite place to hang out online?


Usually, Facebook.


Q: What’s your nightly ritual before retiring for the night?


Reading historical fiction.


Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?


I am not trying to get across any specific message, just trying convey history in an entertaining and informative manner.


Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?


Your welcome. I would urge any perspective writer to develop a sense of self-discipline and be persistent, persistent, persistent!




That's all for now. Until next time Salve atque Vale! Hail and farewell!




-Jess Hughes


11:27 am pdt          Comments

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