All posts tagged: Historical Novel

Graham Clews – Eboracum!

It is always nice to meet someone who shares my passion for the ancient world and it is why I am always delighted to showcase other authors work on my site.  Today I am delighted to introduce Graham Clews who made contact with me and told me about his trilogy on Eboracum, set in ancient Roman Britain.  I have attached the description to the first novel of the trilogy, ‘The Village’ and underneath Graham has written a few words about the series, and why he felt impelled to write it. Thomas M D Brooke From the time Cethen Lamh Fadha and his sharp witted wife Elena see a Roman ship slam into their village dock, to the clash of arms that takes place almost two years later as a result, their life is an uprooted trail of turmoil. Led by a Brigante king who, at times, seems to be an affliction that rivals that of the Romans, the couple find their paths reluctantly crossing that of Gaius Sabinuis Trebonius, senior tribune of the Ninth Hispana …

Thinking of writing your first book? This is my writing process.

Recently a friend of mine sent me an email.  She told me how much she used to enjoy writing, but over the years she had let her passion fall away.  She told me that the release of my novel rekindled her desire to write, but was unsure how to start.  She wondered if I could help.  I wasn’t sure if I could, as I have absolutely no idea whether my method of writing could be of any use to anyone other than myself.  But I figured it couldn’t hurt to try, so I sent her a breakdown of the process I use in constructing a novel.  There are no big secrets here, so if anyone else is interested in how I write, this is it.  I must make it clear that different writers, have different methods, and I don’t pretend to have all the answers. This is just the process I use when writing. Please forgive the informal and personal tone of this post, remember, it was written in the form of a letter originally. …

Shades of Time. A new novel by Sandra Dennis

What is it that connects us to the events of the past? We can certainly learn history through literature or other forms of media, but sometimes the connection goes much deeper than this.  This is especially the case if we have a local or family connection to those same events.   Is it through the memories passed down the generations? Or Possibly through items left behind,  such as pieces of jewelry or family heirlooms?  Or maybe it is the land itself which forms an intrinsic bond with those who live in its hills, fields, and forests – a link that remains over the centuries? This is the intriguing subject of the new novel ‘Shades of Time’ by Sandra Dennis.  She has very kindly offered to write a guest post on her novel and why she felt compelled to write it, so I’ll pass you over to her… Thomas M D Brooke   The discovery of an Anglo-Saxon brooch brings forth spirits from the past in search of revenge… I had to write ‘Shades of Time’, there was no getting away from this story which was inspired by …

Eight alternatives to swords

A great swordsman is a wonderful asset to any historical or fantasy novel, but it would be a pretty ordinary literary world, if the only weapon we ever came across in such literature was that versatile and elegant weapon.  Variety is a virtue in itself when it comes to writing, and just as the Roman’s discovered in their gladiatorial contests, sometimes matching opponents with contrasting weapons and skills often made for the best shows.  Take for example the unarmoured Retiarius armed with net and trident, matched against the heavily armoured Murmillo with sword and shield.  I have no tridents in this list, but I have a few options to arm your literary characters with. victorbrenntice.hubpages.com The Mace. In the Dark ages, only the richest of warriors could afford chain mail, and therefore it was relatively rare.  However as we approached the 11th Century this form of armour became more common and therefore protagonists often found that more damage was inflicted by heavier concussion weapons rather than penetrative or edged weapons such as swords.  The mace …

Sunday update! Sequel, great review, and a give-away.

Sunday update! I’ve started work on a sequel! It’s been a while since I’ve had some news on my own writing, so I am delighted to tell you that I have now started writing the sequel to Roman Mask.  It will obviously be a long project, so don’t expect anything soon, but at least it is on its way now.  You may be wondering why it has taken me so long before even starting this book, but before I could begin, I needed to do mountains of research for this particular story.  I will keep the story-line to myself for now, but rest assured that Cassius will be back and I hope that this novel is as exciting and as well received as Roman Mask.  I still plan to be just as committed to this blog as you have come to expect, so you can still look forward to weekly posts on historical and fantasy novels.  Speaking of Roman Mask, I received an excellent review for my novel on the website Tometender last week.  The …

Bernard Cornwell, The Winter King. A great combination of myth and history.

Bernard Cornwell has always been a great favourite of mine, managing to combine exciting action with historical events – informing the reader, whilst keeping them on the edge of their seat.  So I was intrigued when he decided to write a series of novels based on the legend of King Arthur.  The Winter King is the first of the Warlord chronicles and is set in ancient Britain just after the Romans left its shores and the Saxons started to make incursions into the British Isles.  King Arthur comes to hold back the impending storm, and by so doing spawns the legend that has inspired the myth that has lasted through the millennia. The difficulty with any Arthurian novel is striking the balance between historical accuracy and the myth that has grown over the past fifteen hundred years.  Most people realise that Sir Thomas Mallory’s concept of knights in shining armour is completely inaccurate, but do you throw out all the elements of the legend you think untrue or exaggerated?  If so you may come up …

Process of building a character #books #writingtips

If you want to write a novel, you will need well rounded and believable characters to pull your readers along with the story.  For readers to care what happens at the end of a book, you will need to forge a connection between them and your characters. Different authors will have a variety of different approaches to constructing characters for their novels.  Some will take a more ad-hoc approach, and develop them along the way.  But for myself, if I am going to create realistic characters, it is important to map out their characteristics at the planning stage of a novel – after all, you wouldn’t start writing a book without knowing what your plot is going to be, so why should the characters be any different?  They are just as vital to your novel so it is worthwhile spending some time on character development before you start writing.   These are the stages I go through when putting my characters together – you can play around with the order, nothing here is set in stone. picture from …

Readers Favorite! Roman Mask, 5 Stars! #books

You may notice a silver medal on the top right hand side of my blog, showing five stars.  This is from readers favorite, who have awarded me this after reviewing my book, Roman Mask.  Readers favorite are The fastest growing book review and award contest site on the Internet.  They are the recipient of “Best Websites for Authors” awards by the Association of Independent Authors. They are also used by the large publishing houses Penguin, Harper Collins, Random House, and Simon & Shuster among others. The reason I went to these guys to review my novel, was because I felt it was important to get a completely impartial view on my novel, from a source that is world recognised and renowned for their fair and honest reviews.  Needless to say, I was delighted to receive 5 stars!  They also have an annual book award contest in April, so who knows, I might just take part in that too! Anyway, here is the review I received: Reviewed By Cheryl E. Rodriguez for Readers’ Favorite Thomas MD …

10 Great features of a castle #writing #fantasy #history

You can’t beat a castle to form a dramatic setting for a novel.  If you are writing a story from the past, you can steep it with the historical detail so beloved of the genre.  Equally, if you are writing a fantasy novel, you can let your imagination run free as you create a great stronghold.  One of my favourite aspects of George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones is the number of incredibly expansive and spectacular castles, all uniquely different, that form the seats of power for all the great families. If you want some pointers where to start, here are 10 to get you going. picture from lookandlearn.com Battlements and Machicolations.  A few crossbowmen along the battlements go a long way to deter any but the most determined attacker, but if necessary, you can have machicolations – stone boxes that project from the wall and had holes in the floor – ready to pour boiling oil, rocks, or any other nastiness down on the poor unfortunates below. picture from travelblog.org Arrow slits.  Such a simple …

What I love about writing… #writing

picture from en.wikipedia.org What do I love about writing most? Well, it’s the same things that made me such an avid reader in the first place.  Books have the ability to transport us to new worlds, or periods of time that are otherwise completely locked away from us.  The immersion can be so deep from a novel that we can imagine every step that any given character makes, and it is bringing those same characters to life that is the greatest joy for me as a writer. A book needs to be well written and full of descriptive passages, as they play an essential part in setting a scene and giving the writer’s world depth.  But it is the characters within that world, their hopes, wishes, loves, and desires that will make the story come to life.  When constructing a character for a novel, you want to be able to really get under their skin, understand all their passions and frustrations, their strengths but equally their weaknesses.  Only then can you understand how they will …