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3 June 2014

Success and Successio with Alison Morton

The Third One
When I launched my first novel, INCEPTIO, on the unsuspecting world in March last year, it was the end of three years’ slog, some of which was writing, rewriting and polishing the book, but an equal part was learning ‘How To Be A Novelist’. I went on specialist courses, to conferences, joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association, networked and drank a lot of coffee and wine in the process. 

There followed a frantic period of a high-profile launch with Sue Cook the broadcaster, blog tours, library talks, speaking at conferences and events, signings, shortlisting for the International Rubery Book Award and the award of a B.R.A.G. MedallionTM for excellence. Oh, and I sold a few books.

Alison Morton and Sue Cook
Seven months later, PERFIDITAS, the second book came out. Set in the same imaginary country of Roma Nova, it burst with spies, intrigue, Roman themes, romance and derring-do, all tied together with a tough, but sometimes bewildered, heroine. And betrayal and rebellion are in the air. Not only that, but famous Roman author Simon Scarrow endorsed it: “Sassy, intriguing, page-turning…  Roma Nova is a fascinating world”. Elysium!

Alison Morton and Simon Scarrow
Now number three, SUCCESSIO, is published. Just for the record, the Latin title has a double meaning – ‘what comes next and ‘the next generation’. Two birds with one stone, etc.

When you write a book, you hope someone will read it. In fact, you hope a lot of someones will enjoy it and tell their friends, workmates, family, their local reporter, the cousin who works on the national newspaper – you get the picture. Fellow writers can be especially supportive; as purveyors of literature they know a good (or bad) thing when they read it. So I’m honoured by Helen’s second invitation to be a guest here today and blather about my new book. (Helen: my pleasure Alison! I love your books!)

What’s SUCCESSIO about?

She senses danger crawling towards her when she encounters a strangely self-possessed member of the unit hosting their exchange exercise in Britain. When a blackmailing letter arrives from a woman claiming to be her husband Conrad’s lost daughter and Conrad tries to shut Carina out, she knows the threat is real.

Trying to resolve a young man’s indiscretion twenty-five years before turns into a nightmare that not only threatens to destroy all the Mitelae but also attacks the core of the imperial family itself. With her enemy holding a gun to the head of the heir to the imperial throne, Carina has to make the hardest decision of her life…

 And here’s a trailer with some exciting music

SUCCESSIO is available through your local bookshop (paperback) and online as e-book and paperback

You can read more about Alison, Romans, alternate history and writing on her blog at 
Twitter: @alison_morton

HNS Review for:
'This is not an historical novel, being set entirely in the present day, but what may prove of interest to HNS readers is that the author has set her plot in an alternate history timeline.
It is a modern thriller. In New York, twenty-something Karen Brown’s life is turned upside down as both the ‘big brother’ corruption of a modern state and a secret from her past collide with unexpected violence. Rescued by a charismatic alpha male, she discovers a new life in central Europe, in her late mother’s homeland, only to discover that her past and its secrets are determined to catch up with her.
So far, so readable, but what catches the HNS’s eye is that Karen’s late mother’s homeland is Roma Nova, a Latin speaking, pagan state with a penchant for creating excellent technology and a sizable voice in global politics. The premise is that in AD 395 after the Emperor Theodosious’ decree banning all pagan religions, some 400 Romans loyal to the old gods and presenting some 12 major patrician families left Italy to found a new state. So in Roman Nova Saturnalia is still celebrated instead of Christmas (and is very popular with tourists!), gladiatorial combats are popular and the Praetorian Guard has become something like the SAS.
The alternate timeline is presented in a short introduction, and most of its consequences are drip fed throughout the text. Personally I would have liked more of the history, but this is the first in a series and perhaps the author has deeper plans. In the meantime, this is a convincing thriller with some interesting background.'
Towse Harrison

'Not strictly an historical novel, Perfiditas is an alternative history adventure thriller that will delight crime fiction readers, but may also be enjoyed by Roman fans as Ms Morton has very cleverly blended into a modern tale the ‘what-might-happen’ had the Roman Empire survived to present day. Perfiditas continues the story started in the first book of this intriguing series, Inceptio, with more thrilling excitement from kick-ass Captain of Special Forces, Carina Mitela – the Special Forces being the equivalent to the Praetorian Guard.
An attempted coup threatens the matriarchal government of Roma Nova, which could destroy two millennia of achievement.  Carina hopes to put matters right, but betrayal sees her becoming a fugitive, going undercover to preserve her family’s honour, and she is forced to fight her way back with her skills of courage, determination and wonderful gadgetry.
This is a fast-paced read, although I did find the opening a little difficult to get into, trying to sort out the backstory and recall the main players from book one, who they were, what they did. Reading this on Kindle I did not see the useful cast list until the end – maybe slot it in at the beginning? (Or better still, read the hardcopy book, not the e-book version!) However, the breathless plots and sub-plots soon took hold – one in particular that I did not see coming was most exciting.
The attention to detail is superb, as is the believability of this alternative history existence. It is a skilfully and intelligently written story, with first-class production and presentation: all indie books should aim for this professional standard.'

 Helen Hollick


  1. Wow! Thank you, Helen for this terrific post. I'm thrilled by all the support that fellow authors, readers and fans have given me on my journey. Now I have to buckle down and finish book4. ;-)

    1. My pleasure Alison - wishing you every success!


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