...there's only one more week to go before Montbel, (Book #3) in the Jacques Forêt mystery series, is published. To celebrate, Messandrierre (Book #1) and Merle (Book #2), are reduced to 99p/c from today right through until November 13th.
... makes a welcome return to my blog today. And I understand you have some exciting news for us...
It’s always an exciting time for an author when a new novel is being launched and I’m absolutely delighted to share that Agricola's Bane, the 4th book in my highly acclaimed historical fiction Celtic Fervour Series (published with Ocelot Press),is now available to Pre-Order on Amazon! Paperback versions will also be available in November from Amazon. The official online ebook launch will take place on the 15th of November 2018, with a physical paperback book launch event on November 22nd at a local Heritage Centre in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.
Book 4 continues the tales of the Celtic warrior clan, this time featuring second-generation Enya of Garrigill. The location is Caledon territory (modern-day Aberdeenshire) where most of the tribal warriors, who have survived a recent battle, take refuge in the hills. However, circumstances force some of them to venture forth from their relative safety at Ceann Druimin, the roundhouse village of Chief Lulach. Going anywhere near the Roman legions means risking a stabbing death under a Roman gladius but Enya and her warrior companions find the traitorous Vacomagi tribe can also be just as dangerous.
General Agricola discovers that conquest of the Caledonian tribes isn’t as easy as he expected. The local warriors are very adept at guerrilla warfare and they behave in ways that both confuse and irritate him, much like his capricious Emperor Domitian. Time is running out for Agricola since he’s already on his seventh summer campaign season but he still wants to achieve so much more during his domination of Britannia.
Although my second generation Garrigill clan members are in their early to mid-teens, well-old-enough to be a trained warrior back in late first century A.D., Enya’s father and her uncles – Lorcan and Brennus – still have a part to play in Agricola’s Bane as do the other female clan members of earlier books.
A reader new to the series can read Agricola’s Bane as a stand-alone novel, though they would most likely enjoy it even more if they have read Books 1-3 of the series.
about the book... AD 84 Northern Roman Britain
Nith of Tarras aids Enya of Garrigill in the search for her kin, missing after the disastrous battle at Beinn na Ciche fought between the Caledon warriors and the mighty Legions of the Rome. Enya soon has a heartrending choice to make – should she tread Vacomagi territory that’s swarming with Roman auxiliaries to find her brother? Or head south in search of her cousin who has most likely been taken captive by the soldiers of Agricola?
General Gnaeus Iulius Agricola – Commander of the Britannic Legions and Governor of Britannia – is determined to claim more barbarian territory for the Roman Empire, indeed plans to invade the whole island but finds not all decisions are his to make. It increasingly seems that the goddess, Fortuna, does not favour him.
The adventures of the Garrigill clan continue...
about the author... Nancy Jardine writes contemporary mysteries; historical fiction and time-travel historical adventure. Her current historical focus is Roman Scotland, an engrossing pre-history era because her research depends highly on keeping abreast of recent archaeological findings.
A member of the Romantic Novelists Association, the Scottish Association of Writers, the Federation of Writers Scotland and the Historical Novel Society, her work has achieved finalist status in UK competitions.
She lives in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, with her husband but life is never quiet or boring since her young grandchildren are her next-door neighbours. She regularly child minds them, those days being cherished and laughter filled.
...to the blog today. Hello Will, thanks for being here and I know how busy you are, so I'll get straight to the questions...
AW So, you're an actor, a theatre director, a playwright and a poet. What first got you into writing and why?
WT I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. Longer really, as my memory’s not what it was. I started as a small boy, and considering how tall I am now, that was obviously a long time ago. AW Hmm... Readers, I can vouch for that - he's as tall as a tree! But you were talking about writing... WT I’m not sure what set me off, it was just something I always loved doing. Or should that be, loved “having done”? The results were much more rewarding than the actual process of writing. It can feel such a chore. I’m the world’s worst procrastinator (or do all writers think that?). But holding a finished piece of work in my hands, and being able to show it to family and friends was such a buzz, and still is. I still have a hand-written collection of horror stories that I wrote in a school exercise book in my mid-teens. I stencilled the title “Venture Into The Macabre” onto the cover and pretty much wrote the stories straight out. I wouldn’t be keen to show anyone the contents these days but I was very proud of it at the time.
AWAnd what about other types of writing? Have you ever dabbled with short stories, for instance, or novels?
WT I wrote a lot of short stories back then. My first published works were short stories in the in-house magazine for the registration service when I worked there. The plays came later, after I joined a local drama group and acquired a taste for that style of writing. For the last few years I’ve been producing short-form screenplays for young actors to turn into videos for YouTube. The screenplay format is a natural progression from stage plays, but with its own rules and restrictions. It’s gratifying to think that my work has been viewed millions of times on the internet, but the scripts were all ghostwritten so there were no onscreen credits. I’m currently working on a crime novel, but, of course, it is a completely different discipline to writing scripts; the necessity to fill in the bits between the lines. When you rely entirely on dialogue you have to convey so much merely with speech. It actually feels like I’m cheating in a way, being able to explain the motivation behind a character’s words and deeds. And then there’s the need to describe a location so that a reader can “see” where the characters are, instead of simply writing “a bedsit, somewhere in England”, and leaving a director to create the visuals.
AWFamous authors, such as Roald Dahl and Dylan Thomas, had a special space for writing.Do you have a writing ‘shed’ of your own?
WT Not a shed, no. What would be the dining room in my house has been converted into an office and a den. My desk and chair are actually my old ones from the register office, rescued from abandonment when the registrar team moved to their new premises. I also have a wonderful old Chesterfield chair and retro music system in the same room, to create the ultimate man cave.
AWFinally, if you had a whole afternoon to yourself and could choose to spend it with any one real individual (living or dead), or a character from a book, play or poem, who would it be, and what would you want to discuss?
WT Shakespeare has had such an incredible influence on all of literature, plays and prose, plus films and TV shows and any form of entertainment imaginable, so it would be amazing to have the opportunity to meet the man himself and get to know the mind behind all that. Also to let him know that he’s remembered four hundred years after his death and get his reaction to that!
Thanks Will and best of luck with the crime novel. Just because it is coming up to Hallowe'en, I have a little poetic offering from Will for you...
What feet were these with shuffling gait Did tiptoe on the creaking stair To hesitate and stop and wait And linger just a moment there
What eyes were these in growing black Did peer into the shadows thick But dared not part the curtains' crack Or spark the ashen candle wick
What ears were these, alert and ware Did strain to catch the merest breath Of one who slept with not a care For hurt nor harm nor creeping death
What hands were these when trembling so Could scarce maintain a sturdy grip Would others care, would others know Would any curl a sneering lip
What blade was this so razor keen As ever been on any knife What man was this, unheard, unseen Who ventured forth to claim a life