Colchester Roman Festival 2022 – The first one ever! « Alison Morton’s Thrillers

Camulodunum was an important city in Roman Britain, and the first capital of the province. It became known/was marketed in the 1960s as the ‘oldest recorded town in Britain’. (I wonder if they have competition for that title now.) Originally the site of the Brythonic-Celtic oppidum of Camulodunon (meaning ‘stronghold of Camulos’), capital of the Trinovantes and later the Catuvellauni tribes, it was first mentioned by name on coinage minted by the chieftain Tasciovanus some time between 20 and 10 BC.

Following Claudius’s invasion of the enigmatic, foggy and slightly strange northern island in AD43, a Roman legionary base was built in the AD 40s on the site of the Brythonic-Celtic fortress. A Roman legionary castrum (fortress) established in the confines of Camulodunon became the first permanent one in Britain and home to the Twentieth Legion. The legion withdrew around AD 49, the legionary defences were dismantled and the fortress converted into a town, with many of the barrack blocks converted into housing. A large number of Roman army veterans settled there with land grants and an unspoken mission to show the native population the advantage of the Roman way.

Colchester Roman Festival 2022 – The first one ever! « Alison Morton’s Thrillers

A Conversation with Bruce Holsinger

Hi, everyone. Next Saturday, I’m moderating a meeting of our Sisters in Crime chapter, the Coastal Cruisers. Our guest is best-selling author Bruce Holsinger (you may recognize his signature on one of the certifications on my bio page). If you’re local, we’d love for you to join us in person (please RSVP for head count). If not, we’re also doing Zoom and you can register for that. Info in the image. Thanks!

Weekend Reads: “Murder By Misrule”

Murder by Misrule (Francis Bacon Mystery #1)Murder by Misrule by Anna Castle
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

4.5/5 stars

The late Anna Castle knew her way around a historical mystery. This is the first of her Tudor-era books that I have read.

Francis Bacon agrees to tutor four students at the Gray’s Inn law school after their own tutor is murdered … and soon the five are not only involved in investigating the matter, but are also in the murderer’s sights themselves.

There’s an additional subplot about Bacon trying to be received at court again, and currying favor with his uncle William Cecil, but it’s not the most important subplot. That belongs to student Tom and portrait painter Clara, the latter of whom hails from Brussels. We not only see a great deal about women’s roles during the period but also about geographical and religious prejudice as this part of the story unfolds.

As for the mystery, it’s a fair play puzzle with numerous twists, turns, and more red herrings than a London fishmonger’s. I enjoyed it thoroughly.

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Frequently Asked Question: When you set out to write a story, do you try to be more original or do you try to give readers what they want?

insecure2bwriters2bsupport2bgroup2bbadgeToday’s question is from the Insecure Writers’ Support Group.

Honestly, I think writing to market or, for that matter, assuming you can write in any genre that’s popular is a mistake.

First, “the market” is notoriously fickle. Who’s to say that WWII stories, for instance, will still be the going thing by the time you finish writing yours? And romance publishing house editors say they can always tell when someone has written a story because they think the genre is popular rather than actually loving it. The insincerity comes across on the page.

Write what you love. Tell the story that makes your heart sing. Don’t try to be someone you aren’t; most people can spot a faker a mile away.