Release Time – Free Giveaway!

JANUS PATER

The Memoirs of the Veturii, Book I

To celebrate the release of my novel, JANUS PATER, I am giving away free copies of my novel for five days on KDP.

If you are interested in Historical Fiction, Roman History or Stoic Philosophy, do NOT miss out on this giveaway!

The Route Map

Getting around the Roman way

One thing that the Romans are famous for is their roads. What would a story about ancient warfare involving Romans be without a worthy mention of their advanced mobility?

Also, a shoutout goes to Sarah Davidson at thesketchdragon.com for putting together an awesome route map for Drusus and his comrades to get from A to B! Also, a shoutout to her patience with all of my odd instructions (There are no “U” or “W” letters, only “V” and please change this word to that on account of my awful Latin). Indeed, I am really grateful to Sarah for her help in this project, just as I am to her for her for her help in the previous one.

Just a side note on Roman roads:

To achieve the final product of the true via munita, Roman roads of this sort had more than one layer:

  1. Levelled Earth, compacted if necessary
  2. Stones roughly the size of a hand
  3. Concrete or broken stones of lime
  4. Good old Roman cement
  5. Cut rectangular blocks in an elliptical shape with the apex in the centre – this shape would help with run off in rainy climates
  6. Sidewalks and gutters were often skillfully added by civil Engineers.

Let’s have a look at the route which Drusus and his men pound out under their boots:

The Cover Reveal

Below you will see the final cover for the eBook version of “Janus Pater” designed by Fiona Jayde of Fiona Jayde Media:

I highly recommend that you take a look at more of her work, because Fiona has a breathtaking portfolio which contains covers that she has designed over a wide variety of genres, and for a large base of authors.

On my cover, the dominating figure in the middle is a statue of the Roman god, Janus. The most frequent epithet of this god in Roman mythology and culture is Ianus Pater, due to the nature of his primordial role as a father figure in Roman paganism. Janus represented aspects such as transition, time, doorways and duality and it is no coincidence that the first month of the year is named for this god.

In my novel, the main character, Drusus has settled down as a retired veteran of the Roman Army, having been discharged with the rank of a first order centurion. Roman law at that time allowed discharged veterans to marry a local woman once-off, and she would be considered a Roman citizen, as would their children. In the beginning, it is clear that Drusus comes to terms with the culmination of his career at this rank instead of what he was aiming for, and he looks forward to a happy and fulfilling family life (despite the difficulties and challenges of the time) with his longtime partner, especially now that their union is official.

However, the novel takes place during the Boudicca uprising which happened around A.D. 60/61 and Drusus is called back into service unexpectedly. He then has to come to terms with the duality of being both a family man and a soldier – someone who is both caring and brutal.

In light of the above, I felt that a depiction of the god, Janus on the cover is incredibly fitting in relation to the themes of the story, though it provides a slight hint of the nature of the story in conjunction with the title. However, before coming to this conclusion, I had a myriad of not so bright ideas, many unrealistic and probably quite clich├ę. Fortunately for me, Fiona stepped in and provided me with a concise and creative art board for a cover, the result of which can be seen above.

I have worked with Fiona in the past and would recommend her services to any author who is serious about creating an enthralling, relevant and meaningful cover for their work!

The Bibliography Grows!

In my attempts to make my work in progress more authentic, the bibliography has had a few extra titles added to it:

  • Stoicism for Beginners by Kevin Garnett
  • Literature and Religion in Ancient Rome by Dennis Feeney
  • Infamy: The Crimes of Ancient Rome by Jerry Toner
  • Roman Religion by John Scheid
  • The Religious Experience of the Roman People W. Warde Fowler
  • De Brevitate Vitae by Lucius Seneca (If Gaius probably read it, then so should I!)

Oh my! Now I need to add in some of Cassius Dio’s embellishments for dramatic effect when I get the manuscripts back from my loyal beta readers!

For now, it is simply relief to have finished the first draft and to be able to take a short break before the editing process begins.

Please enjoy some photos that I took whilst in Caesarea in Israel (where the story progresses to in one of later novels) until then ­čÖé

The Release of the Print Version!

Dearest Readers and Potential Readers

It has been an interesting foray into self-publishing as of late and the adventure is only beginning! The time has finally arrived for me to release my first self-published (and self-formatted) novel in print format.

 “The Redemption of Ana├Čr” is now available as a print novel through amazon for only $6.99 along with the e-book which is priced at $0.99. Both versions are on sale until the end of 2019.

In addition to this, I have also compiled a mailing list for whoever is interested in following my progress as a writer and reading the various stories which I hope to release in both the Historical Fiction and Fantasy genres.

Those who wish to be removed from this mailing list need only to reply to it and tell me to remove them. One can also follow updates by subscribing to the blog on the website http://alexfindlayauthor.com

As always, reviews and feedback are always welcome and will be a real help in my quest to one day becoming a successful author. For now, please enjoy the updated book trailer and if you have not already purchased “The Redemption of Ana├Čr” I recommend the glossy covered paperback from this link: https://www.amazon.com/Redemption-Ana%C3%ACr-Alexander-S-Findlay/dp/9659277504

Alternatively, there is always the e-book link: https://www.amazon.com/Redemption-Ana%C3%ACr-Alexander-Findlay-ebook/dp/B07Y2KQP7Z

                Lastly, if you have yet to enjoy the book trailer (edited by yours truly) here is the updated link on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JssOhXCViJE

Yours Faithfully

Alex Findlay

THE E-BOOK LAUNCH: “The Redemption of Ana├Čr”

The day has finally arrived!

My e-book version for “The Redemption of Ana├Čr” is now available from amazon from this buying link below:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Y2KQP7Z/

If you are a reader of fantasy and a supporter of Indie artists, please download it and give it a read and a review on amazon and/or Goodreads.

I am sure that you will find it an entertaining story!

The Cartography of S.E. Davidson

I knew that when the time came to put forth my world onto paper, it would need some sort of map to help people develop an idea of the land itself. Solatus is a small island nation, the mainland is barely fifteen thousand square kilometres and the population numbers something like half a million people if one were to include pure blooded Solati, half-blooded Solati and permitted residents.

Most of the Mainland is inhabited by the upper caste of Solati society: The Pureblooded group. This is an ethnically and culturally homogeneous group which could roughly be divided into five sub cultures which have developed over the four hundred years of Solatus’s existence as a nation.

The differences between groups vary slightly, mainly in nomenclature, willingness to allow marriage to certain foreigners or into certain other Solati households, war-paint and variations of some religious rituals in each of the five sacred groves.

The Norreians occupy the north eastern section of the Mainland, mostly in Mother City Norreia, but also in the surrounding mountains, mining communities and rural settlements.

The more rural Westfold folk occupy the north-west of the Mainland, having no cities of their own. People who dwell in communities in the Western Range and the Noldair Forest also tend to identify as “Westfolders.”

The people of White Sands and the only accessible coastline into Solatus are referred to as “Coastal Folk.”

Marshmen in the Eastern Frog Marsh are referred to as “Marshfolk.” They are probably the most reclusive of the Solati purebloods, preferring to fish and hunt the Solati wetlands. They trade mainly with the “Farmfolk” and maintain an almost semi autonomous hold over their small portion of Eastern Solatus. Nevertheless, they fulfill their obligations to the State and to the Matriarchy in the forms religious obligations, taxes to the regency as well as muster to the Solati Guard.

The residents of the rural communities spread out across the Fenlands, Plough Lands and Mannien Moors are referred to as the aforementioned “Farmfolk.”

The other map which I felt that I HAD to have in my story was the battle map. I remember watching Braveheart as a kid. When I got older and read up on Scottish history, I felt that Braveheart didn’t really do as much justice to the facts as people think.

To name but a few of those facts:

1) During the battle scenes, feudal Gaelic speaking Christians are prancing about in wode. This is a blue dye which was either painted or tattooed onto the bodies of the ancient Picts who once inhabited the south eastern parts of what is now Scotland, were pagans and probably spoke a language closer to Brittonic.

2) Kilts? In the late 1200s? I think that they only popped up later…

3) And then there’s the battle of Battle of Stirling Bridge… Where the hell was the BRIDGE??? Come ON Hollywood!!!

Nevertheless, My protagonist seemed to be of like mind to both William Wallace and Andrew Moray with his approach to the Battle of Thane’s Bridge. Though, I think that my Chief Warden had far more time to prepare and fortify in the manner by which a Republican General of Rome (Caesar perhaps?) would have done.

Given that Ana├Čr did train through the large Imperial War Academy of Teyrras-Lene far to the east of Solatus prior to the events which take place in the novella, the newly appointed Chief Warden had to mix and match and make do with what he had.

I would like to thank Ms. Davidson for putting things into a geographical perspective so wonderfully for my readers! I would also advise anybody perusing this blog to check out The Sketch Dragon website.

Lastly, I think that the best way to experience the whole story – and not just The Battle of Thane’s Bridge – is to actually buy the book from this link.

Cover Reveal

Oh My! But this cover from the talented Fiona Jayde Media was totally worth the investment!

Fiona was prompt and professional when it came to answering questions and adjusting a design to my needs. I am really happy with the results and I encourage any other Indie Author reading this, regardless of the genre, to browse Fiona’s website and portfolio.

Cover and Updates

Okay, so this site has been inactive for a while. This does not mean that I have stopped writing or given up at all!

I am waiting for the last round of editing to arrive from Thoth Editing, a battle map to arrive from Sarah Evelyn Art and I am in the finishing stages of my Print Cover with the talented Fiona Jayde of Fiona Jayde Media (as soon as I know the page count it’s all good to go). Two ISBNs have been paid for and registered – one for an e-book in English and the other for a print copy in English.

Now, that said, an e-book cover is actually ready! However, I am still figuring the ins and outs of the art of a good “cover reveal” so all that features in this post is a skeleton…

In Conclusion to this brief post. I would like to state that this experience has been a more arduous (and expensive) process than I had anticipated and I am waiting for the culmination of the project – the book launch on amazon so that I may finally see it through. That said, I am lucky to have had such talent working on my project (seriously, do yourselves a favour and click on their links) – not to mention my awesome beta readers who will get a mention in their own right in later post – and it has been a tremendous learning curve. I suspect that with the market as it is and the world of indie author book marketing looming, my learning curve is only just entering the early stages…

Editing – Part II

Draft 4 is on its way!

Let’s have a recap shall we?

I drafted the Novella of the Redemption of Anair in a ‘Three Act” structure. My mum – an English Teacher – proofread it for mes by scene. I made a few grammatical changes and worked on my punctuation, thus producing “Draft 1”

This was then submitted to Thoth Editing for the “first round edits” wherein the content and quality of the work in general was scrutinized, thus leaving me with Draft 2.

Draft 2 was submitted to my beta readers and most of them got back to me with really helpful input. One beta reader is actually an editor in her own right, and her input was most valuable. As a consequence of this, I added an extra scene and added content to two extra scenes. Alas, I am still debating how to cut down on some of my wordier descriptions (only two or three) as advised by one reader. Nevertheless, Draft 3 was drawn up and prepared.

Draft 3 is now in the capable hands of Casey Fenich – Thoth Editing – Whom I am sure will cut sentences and attend to any grammatical, punctuation or technical errors as she sees fit. Money well invested, I might add.

Nevertheless, Draft 5 will have my ultimate approval as I will re-read this novella (again) prior to formatting and uploading it.

I do hope that one learns to shorten this process as one progresses in the craft!