So what does SUCCESSIO mean to me?

green fields_smWriting a book is hard work but a privilege. Sitting down, slogging away, oblivious to neck and shoulders becoming rigid, you ignore the blurring eyes, the ache creeping up over the crown of your head because you are lost in the imaginary country of your book’s world.

Your characters smell the pines, shiver at the fresh mountain air and grumble about hot, tired feet enclosed in hiking boots. In the town, they swerve to avoid the bad guys chasing them, curse at the traffic holding them back, shudder when another car screeches, hitting the paintwork of their car.

The heroine’s heart thumps on the adrenaline high of the chase, or melts as her child’s arms encircle her neck and hug her tight, or her lover’s eyes travel up and down her body, settling on her face, and he smiles warmly at her with eyes full of love. She laughs with her friends and colleagues, relishes her work, happy and comfortable in her home.

Then you put her in a totally impossible position – her personal world crumbles, her job becomes more impossible day by day, her country is threatened by a ruthless and manipulative wrecker who slips through everybody’s fingers.

How can an author subject the heroine to  such horrors? But then you see your heroine’s grit, her fortitude despite her fear and heartache and you live every minute, even every second as she struggles to find a way out. It’s an emotional experience like no other!

Publishing a book is when you wrench yourself out of that world and enter the long, long process of edits, production and consultations. But when you first see the cover proof, you know exactly how your heroine feels in the heart-thudding department.

When I opened the first .PDF file for INCEPTIO, I sat speechless, my eyes fixed on the computer screen, marvelling at the beauty of the rich imperial purple and gold design blending modern graphics with strong Roman symbols. When I saw the new 2019 one (right), my reaction was x 10!

Both editing and cover design involve working as a team with professionals – their expertise is at your command. However, it’s a two-way process and they have the talent and knowledge to guide you in the best direction.

IMG_4559I was excited when I received the very first shipping notice in my inbox shipping notice but when door bell sounded 36 hours later, I ran up the stairs from my basement office like an Olympian in training and flung open the heavy wooden door to find a smiling courier with four boxes of books.

And it’s exactly the same experience for every book I’ve ever written!

Telling all your friends about it is mildly embarrassing at first, but exciting – just watch their faces! They tell me they find it hard to believe that you, their friend, has written a book, and such a beautiful book, too! (Well, that’s what they say; they’re a polite bunch.)

Listening at launch


They sit entranced at your launch; they’re desperate to glimpse inside your imagined world and to know the story of how this came to be. And they look at you and wonder what on earth has been going on in your mind all these years…

Selling your book is the biggest thrill, not just receiving the notes, coins, or plastic, although that’s very nice, thank you. You are handing your world over to be shared, loved and hopefully cherished. When the reviews come, you worry about reading them. But when a true fan emails you direct, tweets or posts about how much they enjoyed your book, and how it now ranks in their top books, your (rather over-worked) heart nearly bursts with joy (and pride)!

Publishing SUCCESSIO was the third time I’d experienced this, and believe me, the work doesn’t get any less, but the fun and thrills don’t either.

SUCCESSIO was the book that was darker that the previous two, the riskier, the more gut-wrenching to write. Everybody failed in some way, psychologically as well as professionally, but they kept to their core values and and ended up far stronger.

If you’re a reader, you can find this Roma Nova adventure in ebook, paperback or audio here.

Happy reading!

If you’re a writer as well, never stop the hard work because seeing and feeling your book in your hands will make you laugh and cry with pleasure for years.

This is an updated version (2021) of an original post celebrating the launch of SUCCESSIO.



Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers –  INCEPTIO, CARINA (novella), PERFIDITAS, SUCCESSIO,  AURELIA, NEXUS (novella), INSURRECTIO  and RETALIO,  and ROMA NOVA EXTRA, a collection of short stories.  Audiobooks are available for four of the series. Double Identity, a contemporary conspiracy, starts a new series of thrillers.

Download ‘Welcome to Alison Morton’s Thriller Worlds’, a FREE eBook, as a thank you gift when you sign up to Alison’s monthly email newsletter. You’ll also be among the first to know about news and book progress before everybody else, and take part in giveaways.

2 comments to So what does SUCCESSIO mean to me?

  • I couldn’t have put it better myself, Alison. Well done. Am looking forward to SUCCESSIO’s launch on 4th June.

    • Alison

      Sometimes in all the technical stuff, we forget about the emotions of writing a book. I thought I’d share. 😉