I started writing Bloody Dominions about 3 years ago. It is the culmination of a profound and lifelong interest in ancient history, especially the Roman empire and a long harboured belief, motivated by the works of writers such as Robert Fabbri, Conn Iggulden, Anthony Riches and Simon Scarrow, that I too had a story to tell. When I was presented with a window of opportunity, I took the decision to place my career on hold and see if I could convert that belief into reality. I haven't regretted the decision for one moment and am genuinely excited about my characters and the story they have to tell.
I have always enjoyed creative writing, contributing to various publications at school, sixth form college and university, where I was also part of the editorial team on the student magazine. Whilst the ancient world did not unfortunately feature to any extent in my history degree, the result of failing miserably to secure the A level grades that would have permitted greater choice, I enjoyed developing skills that stood me in good stead throughout my professional career and, more recently, during the extensive research I conducted whilst writing my novel.
When I left college, I embarked on a career in HR and over the next 30 years or so I occupied a variety of increasingly senior roles, culminating in several Directorships in large NHS Trusts. Unsurprisingly, writing in these roles was largely confined to the prosaic demands of Board papers, although I continued to write for personal consumption and read avidly. My inner historian was often frustrated however by the propensity for works of historical fiction to view events from one perspective. History is of course written by the winners, but in the world of fiction that constraint need not apply. Similarly, the role of women in Roman fiction, Boudica aside, is largely confined to spouse, prostitute or slave when adopting an alternative approach might add a different dimension and richness to any story.
I have therefore sought to produce a novel in which unfolding events are experienced and described from the perspective of protagonists on both sides of Caesar's incursion into Gaul, one of whom is female and a prominent member of the warrior clan of her tribe. The novel is driven by these characters but the framework against which their stories unfold is historically accurate, featuring actual participants in Caesars campaign and drawing on real events as they occurred.
I live in Exeter with my two daughters and am currently juggling work as an Independent HR Consultant with writing the second novel in the Conquest Trilogy, Battle Scars.