Sunday, 30 August 2009


Confession time - I've been back looking at the numbers on Amazon again. My excuse is that its the only way to find out how Claudius is doing and the good news is that it seems to be doing pretty well. It still has a fair way to go to catch up with the authors I think of as my 'rivals', people like Simon Scarrow, Conn Iggulden, Ben Kane and Harry Sidebottom, but Claudius is up there in the top 75 historical novels. The launch of Claudius has also given sales of the paperback of Caligula a boost, which is really encouraging.

I'm continuing to work on my next book, Hero of Rome, which will be out next July. The story's almost there but the writing needs a bit of polishing. You're always conscious that this book has to be better than the ones which have gone before, but I also now have a huge sense of responsibility to the people who've read Claudius and Caligula and enjoyed them. That and the fact that I'm now doing this for a living adds an extra bit of pressure.

This post is being written on the fancy new i-Mac which I bought on Friday and I'm sitting at a new desk, well not new, just better, and pinched from my daughter who's now living elsewhere. It's great because all my research books are stacked in shelves and within reach, instead of scattered around like confetti. As well as writing, I have to prepare for three public appearances over the next month. I'm at Milngavie Library a week tomorrow ((Sept 7) for a meet the author event, then on the 15th I'll be doing a talk and readings at Dunblane Library for the Stirling Book Festival, and finally on October 3, the Wigtown Book Festival, where I'll be appearing with Alan Massie, Philip Parker and Charlotte Higgins to talk about why the classics still matter. If you're in a position to make any of them please come along and introduce yourself, it would be great to see you.

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