Wow, what a year! If you'd told me last Christmas that I'd be where I am now I probably wouldn't have believed you. Another book published, another deal signed and the first of a new trilogy delivered. 2009 opened the door to a whole new life as a full time writer.
When I left the Scotsman in July, I looked forward to the future with a mixture of excitement and something not far short of terror. I was walking out of a career comfort zone and into the unknown, away from a salary to a place where the cheques arrive every six months, if they arrive at all. A lot of people said they envied me and that I was being brave. What they actually meant was they thought I was off my head.
But I had a plan, and as 2009 closes that plan is still on track.
There's still another six months before my new book Hero of Rome comes out, but the thought of it being on the shelves already gives me a thrill. It tells the story of Gaius Valerius Verrens, tribune of the Twentieth legion and reluctant commander of the last stand of the defenders of the Temple of Claudius against Boudicca's avenging hordes. It's a tale of danger and sacrifice, courage and comradeship, love and betrayal on an epic scale and I loved writing it. My last book, Claudius, had loads of great reviews although it didn't quite make the impact I hoped it would, but the wonderful thing is that the sense of expectation is always there. Maybe this is the one!
2010 will undoubtedly be a year of challenges for everyone - I hope it brings you joy and success, health and happiness.
Have a Merry Christmas and a great New Year