How did you come up with the title of your first novel?
I had another chosen, but it sounded soppy, and it was already used, so I picked Druids Portal, as being more related to the plot.
Who designed your book covers?
Soul Mate Publishing chose Melody Pond to design both my covers, and the first one won cover of the month at Books & Benches. Her website is:
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I think you always want to rewrite parts, make them better and a closer match to the world in your head. But so long as it is an entertaining read then I can be happy with that. Besides, I have to get cracking on the next books!
Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I do quite a bit of research, and this book I learnt a lot about Druid history, ancient religious rituals, and Stonehenge. I also delved into wild flowers, and what sort of flowers, leaves and trees are sacred, both historically and today in pagan circles.
If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Ethan is a tall, muscular chap, and handy with a sword and a one liner. Jason Momoa fits the bill nicely!
Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Keep an eye on the secondary characters – the brothers Quintus, Brack, and Phelan. They are major players in the following books.
What is your favorite part of this book and why?
In the alternate timeline, we get the chance to see secondary characters in a different setting. In one scene Ethan meets the soldiers his father served with, as well as a character that is important in the next book. For me, it tells of the losses of time travel, of leaving behind friends that never knew what happened to you. I tried to portray the deep bonds that had been built up, though 2,000 years separated the characters.
If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?
Branwen is one of my favourite characters. She is the celtic manager of a bathhouse in the Roman fort town of Pons Aelius, which will become Newcastle. She takes Janet in when she arrives from the future, and her three sons become major characters. She loves to cook and bake, so I imagine we would spend the day baking and sharing some honeyed wine and gossip. The bath house is always first with all the news!
Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
I have had a couple of characters that come from real people – one walked across a crowded pub and straight into my imagination. Most are entirely imaginary, maybe with a feature from someone in real life.
Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?
I wrote Nanowrimo last year, and a secondary character took over, and I had a Jason Momoa lookalike galloping across Roman Britain, finding love and generally taking over. It was enormous fun, and it developed the story in ways I had not planned. I know the general direction, but it’s fun not to know too much.
Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.
Who writes about Roman Britain? Not many – it’s all kilts or regency frocks. Explore a time of history that still echoes in our lives today. Go and find a real hero, and women who are not afraid to get their hands dirty.
Have you written any other books that are not published?
Yes, is the short answer. Science fiction, fantasy, contemporary romance, urban fantasy and historicals are all clamoring for their share of the spotlight.
If your book had a candle, what scent would it be?
Oak and rose. Oak for Ethan’s link with the forest, and rose for the perfume Rowena has in her hair.
What did you edit out of this book?
Not much, except for 1,000+ hads, and shes when editing. I write fast and tight, and add in when drafting, not delete things.
Is there an writer which brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Robert E. Howard would be great. His Conan books are great examples of fight scenes, and also describing dark creatures and places in graphic ways.
Fun Facts/Behind the Scenes/Did You Know?'-type tidbits about the author, the book or the writing process of the book.
I read history books like a novel, and really try to get details right. I have consulted archaeologists to get my facts straight, and emailed a museum to find out how a 2,000 year old incense burner worked.
My cat loves helping, and sometimes I am working and balancing the keyboard on top of him.
Roman soldiers along Hadrian’s Wall ate lots of bacon. They had to carry food, cooking equipment, shovels, and tents on their marches, then dig protective trenches before they rested for the night. And do night patrol. Tough men.