All change at Roma Nova!

I knew it was one of your books – you have such a strong brand.”
This kind reader tweeted this a year ago and my little heart swelled. The gold futuristic eagle on a dark background had spread its wings everywhere.

Scroll back to 2013. Excited in the run-up to the publication of INCEPTIO, my first book, I was stunned by the cover that SilverWood Books produced. Here was the embodiment of my book: imperial purple, a gold eagle, symbol of Roman power, yet in a thoroughly modern design. Added to that, the ‘proper’ Roman font – Trajan Pro – as seen on inscriptions still visible across Europe. A tingle flowed through my body. (Well, it was exciting!)

And so it has been for the past five years and eight books, each book with a different deep jewel-like cover echoing the contents.

 

But times change. People change. Habits and wishes change.

When historians write about our age, the one expression to characterise it will be ‘continuous change’. I’ll come clean. My book sales are steady and from the comments by readers, I gather they enjoy them enough to give them hundreds of five stars across the series. But I’d love to discover more readers and introduce Roma Nova to them. So I dived into the murky science of marketing.

What do potential new readers expect when they see my covers? Do they see adventure thrillers featuring strong heroines, a touch of history and mystery, tales of courage, failure, triumph, heartache and resolve? Hm. Perhaps the eagle image, dark colours and Roman script no longer had that elusive ‘pick-up’ element.
Learning point: Emotion and character needed to be brought in.

Did the covers convey action and movement? Certainly, they conveyed strength and purposefulness, but there was no hint of risk, personal danger or taking the initiative. And you can’t say that either of my heroines, Carina or Aurelia, is backward in any of those aspects!
Learning point: Show some dynamism.

People vs. patterns. I rejected a cover with a face in 2013 because I couldn’t see it fitting within the graphic. It would have confused the impact of the eagle. From a five years’ later viewpoint, I still think that was the right decision. Trying to fit everything together is not a good approach, nor is overcrowding a cover. The whole concept needed a complete rethink.
Learning point: Don’t tinker – start again.

Being hard-headed, the job of a book cover is to let readers know what it’s about and whether they might be interested – all within a second or two. If the cover isn’t compelling passers-by (real or virtual) to look further by reading the summary and reviews, they won’t come near to buying.

Researching this was a hard process. Taking the decision to change the whole look of the Roma Nova covers was excruciating. But I had five solid years of experience in the book world: interacting with readers, absorbing reviews, listening to fellow authors, discovering new techniques and trends. I was also expanding the series, firstly by dropping in a novella (CARINA), then a collection of short stories (ROMA NOVA EXTRA) Currently I’m drafting a novella set in the 1970s featuring Aurelia, set between AURELIA and INSURRECTIO, which would further mess up the existing numbering order!

A fresh approach to the whole series was needed. I’ve decided to split the stories into two strands within the Roma Nova series: Carina Mitela adventures and Aurelia Mitela adventures.

Readers have described my books as a cross between Lindsey Davis’ Roman detective Falco and The Hunger Games. They’ve also been likened to Manda Scott and Kate Mosse’s books. Conn Iggledun, Simon Scarrow, Elizabeth Chadwick, Sue Cook and Kate Quinn have said nice things about them. I’d like to think they’d appeal to readers of JD Robb and Robert Harris (or is that hubris?).

Back to the covers…

I commissioned Jessica Bell Design to draw up some concepts for the whole series and chose the one that conveyed the ‘feel’ of Roma Nova best. But then I had to put my own emotional response aside and use my logical brain. Which would most appeal to readers? And address the learning points from my analysis?
I asked Jessica to keep the original background colours: INCEPTIO purple, PERFIDITAS blood red, CARINA in between, SUCCESSIO blue, AURELIA green, INSURRECTIO black and RETALIO amber and to include the signature eagle graphic in the mix.

She was a joy to work with: imaginative, professional and supportive, especially of some of my dafter ideas. But she was also ruthless in a very friendly way when my suggestions were off-piste; she was right every time.

Left to right: Joanna Penn, Jessica Bell, me, Rebecca Lang at the London Book Fair 2017

Left to right: Joanna Penn, Jessica Bell, me, Rebecca Lang at the London Book Fair 2017

Delighted isn’t the right word. Thrilled is a bit nearer. Ecstatic is nearly there. Shocked and overwhelmed in a very positive way is better. Judge for yourselves. I think Roma Nova is about to storm off on some exciting new adventures.

Coming for the ride?

 

Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers –  INCEPTIO,  PERFIDITAS,  SUCCESSIO,  AURELIA,  INSURRECTIO  and RETALIO.  CARINA, a novella, and ROMA NOVA EXTRA, a collection of short stories, are now available.  Audiobooks are available for the first four of the series.

Get INCEPTIO, the series starter, FREE as a thank you gift when you sign up to Alison’s monthly email newsletter. You’ll also be first to know about Roma Nova news and book progress before everybody else, and take part in giveaways.

AURELIA and INSURRECTIO join Pulcheria Press

The ebook versions of the second Roma Nova trilogy, set in the late 1960s and early 1980s, have joined Pulcheria Press.

Award winning AURELIA  starts the action off in the late 1960s when the rivalry between the young Aurelia Mitela and the amoral Caius Tellus becomes lethal.

Late 1960s Roma Nova, the last Roman colony that has survived into the 20thcentury. Aurelia Mitela is alone – her partner gone, her child sickly and her mother dead. Forced in her mid-twenties to give up her beloved career as a Praetorian officer, she is struggling to manage an extended family tribe, businesses and senatorial political life.

But her country needs her unique skills. Somebody is smuggling silver – Roma Nova’s lifeblood – on an industrial scale. Sent to Berlin to investigate, she encounters the mysterious and attractive Miklós, a suspected smuggler, and Caius Tellus, a Roma Novan she has despised and feared since childhood.

Aurelia suspects that the silver smuggling hides a deeper conspiracy and follows a lead into the Berlin criminal underworld. Barely escaping a trap set by a gang boss intent on terminating her, she realises that her old enemy is at the heart of all her troubles. She pursues him back home to Roma Nova desperate now he has struck at her most vulnerable point – her young daughter.

Ebook, paperback and audio available. Watch the video, discover award details and where to buy

 

INSURRECTIO is set in the early 1980s, a time of instability and rebellion…

“The second fall of Rome?”
Aurelia Mitela, ex-Praetorian and imperial councillor in Roma Nova, scoffs at her intelligence chief when he throws a red file on her desk.

But early 1980s Roma Nova, the last province of the Roman Empire that has survived into the twentieth century, has problems – a ruler frightened of governing, a centuries-old bureaucracy creaking for reform and, worst of all, a rising nationalist movement with a charismatic leader who wants to destroy Aurelia.

Horrified when her daughter is brutally attacked in a demonstration turned riot, Aurelia tries to rally resistance to the growing fear and instability. But it may already be too late to save Roma Nova from meltdown and herself from entrapment and destruction by her lifelong enemy.…

Ebook and paperback available. Watch the video, discover award details and where to buy

 

Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers –  INCEPTIO,  PERFIDITAS,  SUCCESSIO,  AURELIA,  INSURRECTIO  and RETALIO.  CARINA, a novella, is available now.  Audiobooks are available for the first four of the series.

Get INCEPTIO, the series starter, FREE as a thank you gift when you sign up to Alison’s monthly email newsletter. You’ll also be first to know about Roma Nova news and book progress before everybody else, and take part in giveaways.

CARINA: a novella

Yes, a new adventure set between INCEPTIO and PERFIDITAS…

Carina Mitela is still a young inexperienced officer in the Praetorian Guard Special Forces. Disgraced and smarting from a period in the cells for a disciplinary offence, she is sent out of everybody’s way on a seemingly straightforward mission overseas.

All she and her comrade-in-arms, Flavius, have to do is bring back a traitor from the Republic of Quebec. Under no circumstances will she risk entering the Eastern United States where she is still wanted under her old name Karen Brown. But when she and Flavius discover a conspiracy that reaches to the highest levels of Roma Nova, what price is personal danger against fulfilling the mission?

 

Update (November 2017)
Available NOW on Amazon  Kobo  iBooks  B&N NOOK

 

Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers INCEPTIO, PERFIDITASSUCCESSIOAURELIA and INSURRECTIO. The sixth, RETALIO, came out in April  2017. Audiobooks now available for the first four of the series

Get INCEPTIO, the series starter, for FREE when you sign up to Alison’s free monthly email newsletter. You’ll also be first to know about Roma Nova news and book progress before everybody else, and take part in giveaways.

INCEPTIO ebook joins Pulcheria Press

INCEPTIO  (ebook) is now the third to join the Pulcheria Press family! And it’s the ideal way to find out why Pulcheria Press has its name…

INCEPTIO plunges you into a 21st century Roman world. Apart from kidnapping, heartache and a close encounter with Latin grammar, New Yorker Karen Brown must contend with a fascinating Praetorian elite forces officer. Oh, and a crazy killer pursuing her for a very personal reason.

Karen flees to her dead mother’s homeland, Roma Nova, the last remnant of the Roman Empire. Founded sixteen hundred years ago by Roman exiles and now ruled by women, it gives Karen safety and a ready-made family – but at a price.

In this adventure thriller set in an alternative timeline, Karen grows from a girl anybody might know into a strong female character not only intent on staying alive but also on finding out why the killer is hunting her.

A coming of age story, where an ordinary girl discovers there is a great deal more lying under her mundane existence, but also lethal danger. At what stage does she stop running from it?

The Hunger Games meets Lindsey Davis’s Roman detective Falco.”

A must read for fans of Manda Scott and Kate Mosse” – Lisa Redmond, Madwoman in the Attic blog

– B.R.A.G. Medallion honoree
– shortlisted for the 2013 International Rubery Book Award
– finalist in 2014 Writing Magazine Self-Published Book of the Year

Available from these retailers (as of now): Amazon   iBooks/Apple   Kobo   B&N Nook

SilverWood Books will remain the print version publisher.

Paperback: ISBN 9781781320624 RRP £9.99
eBook: ISBN 9791097310035 RRP £2.99
Audiobook published by Audible Studios  B01HU9IV7C

Read an excerpthttp://alison-morton.com/2013/02/24/inceptio-excerpt-i/

**Listen to a sample of the audiobookhttps://soundcloud.com/audible/inceptio**  NEW!

If you’d like to buy a print copy signed by the author click here.

Watch the  trailer


 

 

Shortlisted 2013 http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17328184-inceptio584050

 

And what happened next? Read about PERFIDITAS, the second book in the Roma Nova series.

 

Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers INCEPTIO, PERFIDITASSUCCESSIOAURELIA and INSURRECTIO. The sixth, RETALIO, was published by Pulcheria Press in print and ebook in April 2017.

Get INCEPTIO, the series starter, for FREE when you sign up to Alison’s free monthly email newsletter. You’ll also be first to know about Roma Nova news and book progress before everybody else, and take part in giveaways.

RETALIO published on 27 April 2017

Book six of the Roma Nova thriller series, set in Roma Nova’s recent past – the conclusion of the younger Aurelia Mitela’s adventures…

Early 1980s Vienna. Recovering from a near fatal shooting, Aurelia Mitela, ex-Praetorian and former foreign minister of Roma Nova, chafes at her enforced exile. She barely escaped from her nemesis, the charming and amoral Caius Tellus who grabbed power in Roma Nova, the only part of the Roman Empire to survive into the twentieth century.

Aurelia’s duty and passion fire her determination to take back her homeland and liberate its people. But Caius’s manipulations have isolated her from her fellow exiles, leaving her ostracised, powerless and vulnerable. But without their trust and support Aurelia knows she will never see Roma Nova again.

Published by Pulcheria Press 27 April 2017
Paperback: ISBN 9791097310004    Ebook: ISBN 9791097310011

RETALIO concludes the story of Aurelia Mitela’s part in the Great Rebellion that characters like Conrad, Imperatrix Silvia and Aurelia herself as an older stateswoman refer to in the first three Roma Nova books, INCEPTIOPERFIDITAS and SUCCESSIO.

The fourth Roma Nova thriller, AURELIA, started this second cycle of three in the series, INSURRECTIO showed us the terrifying rise of a nationalist demagogue and his brutal power grab. Now read on…

Available now from Amazon (ebook and paperback), iBooksB&N Nook and Kobo and the paperback from a variety of other retailers

 

Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers INCEPTIO, PERFIDITASSUCCESSIOAURELIA and INSURRECTIO. The sixth, RETALIO, was published in April 2017. Audiobooks now available for the first four of the series

Get INCEPTIO, the series starter, for FREE when you sign up to Alison’s free monthly email newsletter. You’ll also be first to know about Roma Nova news and book progress before everybody else, and take part in giveaways.

New! Roma Nova box set released

The Roma Nova box set which consists of INCEPTIO, PERFIDITAS and SUCCESSIO, is released this morning 10 February 2017 by Pulcheria Press. This is the first work published by Pulcheria Press, so very exciting!

If you haven’t read the first three Roma Nova novels, this is an excellent place to start (and a very competitive price).  Available now from  Amazon  iTunes/Apple  Nook (B&N)   Kobo (soon)

RomaNova series2D_sm

POWER  BETRAYAL  NEMESIS 

Meet Carina Mitela, 21st century Praetorian in Roma Nova, as she challenges all three.

Transformation, deception, rebels, vengeance takers, comradeship and an epic love story in these three adventures in a new Rome founded sixteen hundred years ago by Roman dissidents, and ruled by women.

Over 1,000 pages of action adventure and alternative historical thrills in three books with 140 five star reviews on Amazon between them.

INCEPTIO – the beginning
Terrified after a kidnap attempt, New Yorker Karen Brown, has a harsh choice – being eliminated by EUS government enforcer Renschman or fleeing to mysterious Roma Nova, her dead mother’s homeland in Europe. Founded sixteen hundred years ago by Roman exiles and ruled by women, Roma Nova gives Karen safety, at a price, but the enforcer, Renschman, pursues her and sets a trap knowing she has no choice but to spring it…

B.R.A.G. Medallion, finalist, 2013 International Rubery Book Award
“Grips like a vice – a writer to watch out for.”
– Adrian Magson, author of the Harry Tate spy thrillers

PERFIDITAS – betrayal
Captain Carina Mitela of the Praetorian Guard Special Forces is in trouble – one colleague has tried to kill her and another has set a trap to incriminate her in a conspiracy to topple the government of Roma Nova.

Seeking help from a not quite legal old friend could wreck her marriage to the enigmatic Conrad. Once proscribed and operating illegally, she risks being terminated by both security services and conspirators. As she struggles to overcome the desperate odds and save her beloved Roma Nova and her own life, she faces the ultimate betrayal…

B.R.A.G. Medallion, finalist, 2014 Writing Magazine Self-Published Book of the Year
“Alison Morton has built a fascinating, exotic world! Carina’s 
a bright, sassy detective with a winning dry sense of humour.”
– Simon Scarrow, author of the Eagle (Macro and Cato) series

SUCCESSIO – the next generation
Roma Nova is at peace. Carina Mitela, the heir of a leading family, but choosing the life of an officer in the Praetorian Guard Special Forces, is not so sure. 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 senses danger crawling towards her.

Trying to resolve a young man’s indiscretion twenty-five years ago turns into a nightmare that attacks 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…

B.R.A.G. Medallion, Historical Novel Society’s indie Editor’s Choice Autumn 2014, Editor’s choice, The Bookseller’s inaugural Indie Preview, December 2014, longlisted for the 2015 HNS Indie prize
“I thoroughly enjoyed this classy thriller, the third in Morton’s epic series set in Roma Nova.”
– Caroline Sanderson in The Bookseller

Published by Pulcheria Press  ISBN 9791097310028

Available now from  Amazon     iTunes/Apple      Nook (B&N)    Kobo (soon)

RomaNova-boxed-set-advert-web-banner

 

Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers INCEPTIO, PERFIDITASSUCCESSIOAURELIA and INSURRECTIO. The sixth, RETALIO, will be published in Spring 2017. Audiobooks now available for the first four of the series

Get INCEPTIO, the series starter, for FREE when you sign up to Alison’s free monthly email newsletter. You’ll also be first to know about Roma Nova news and book progress before everybody else, and take part in giveaways.