This week’s Inheritance Books are from Alison Morton, author of alternative history thrillers. I met Alison at an RNA conference last year where she gave me a great big hug when I said I had her book on my Kindle. 🙂
Hi Alison, welcome to Inheritance Books. Please tell us a bit about yourself.
I’ve been a wordsmith much of my life – storyteller, playwright (aged 7!), article writer, local magazine editor and professional translator. After a bachelor’s degree in French, German and Economics in the mid-1970s, I was back‘at school’ in 2006 to do a masters’ in history and now live in France with my husband.
I came to novel writing in reaction to a particularly dire film; the cinematography was good, but the plot dire and narration jerky.
‘I could do better that that,’ I whispered in the darkened cinema.
‘So why don’t you?’ came my other half’s reply.
Ninety days later, I’d completed the first draft of INCEPTIO, the first in my Roma Nova thriller series. The second in the series PERFIDITAS is available now.
Which book have you inherited from the generation above? Why is it special?
Not an easy question! Some of the most influential authors for me when I was growing up were Rosemary Sutcliff, Jean Plaidy and Anya Seton, but my teenage heart belongs to Georgette Heyer. Being honest, my middle-aged one still feels the strong pull of her world, her characters, clothes and manners. Avon and Léonie – what a combination: his cutting wit, implacable nature and true heart, her espièglerie, Titian curls and innate toughness. Sophie and Frederica, both ‘managing females’, but winning their game and their true love. Trying to choose between them all is a Promethean task. I think it’s a tie between These Old Shades and The Grand Sophy because I learned from both that women could have adventures as well as romance.
Which book would you like to leave to future generations? Why?
William Boyd’s Restless is a favourite – a critical tale of spies, Second World War, betrayal on personal and political levels, Cold War, revenge, with two strong women leads whose emotions swing between love and alienation, plus beautiful prose.
But the book I’d leave is also a spy story, although it has a romance of sorts buried inside. I’m fascinated by Robert Harris’s Fatherland– the concept of ‘what if Nazi Germany had won the war?’ and recommend it to everybody. At its best, alternate history challenges fixed ideas while providing entertainment. Fatherland’s strength is not only Harris’s succinct , pictorial style, the inference of tension and past memory he can conjure up in a few words, his excellent research and a cracking story. Fatherland allows us to experience a frisson of terror from the safety of our 21st century armchairs at the nightmare of what could have been. A challenge and a warning to every generation.
Thank you for sharing your Inheritance Books with us Alison. I hope the Roma Nova series goes from strength to strength!
You can find out more about Alison and about Roma Nova on her website (www.alison-morton.com), finding her on Facebook or following her on Twitter (@alison_morton). Her book latest book PERFIDITAS is available now.