Rossiter Books - an evening of writing alternatively and fun!

Liesel and Alison laughingLiesel Schwarz and I had such a fun evening last Thursday in Ross-on-Wye enthusing with a great  audience about steampunk and alternative history that we haven’t been able to stop talking about it!

Very well attended, there was even had a 13-year old aspiring author who came up and ask us about writing which, as Liesel says, is “always awesome”.

And we had wine and cake – key factors to success!

Andy Rossiter introducing us


Andy Rossiter, the owner gave a brief introduction. After a bit of background about ourselves and and our books, we spoke about writing in extraordinary settings; enticing the reader to share those different worlds was an enjoyable challenge. Liesel had found her inspiration in two characters arguing in a London Tube carriage; mine came from Roman mosaics, then clicked decades later after listening to bad dialogue in a terrible film. I thought I could do better.

Rossiter audience

Making the imaginary world consistent and keeping it plausible for the reader are the twin guidelines for success world building in science fiction and fantasy; ditto for historical fiction.

In these days of fast reading, authors should write succinctly without inflicting pages of description or over-detailed explanation – inelegantly called the info dump – on the reader.

In answer to a question on how to keep hold of the alternative world, I simply replied that I lived in Roma Nova. Well, in my head, anyway. 😉

We both admitted to the blank stare moments, when ideas were bubbling away in a soup of brain cells and imagination. Liesel retains her ideas better than I do; I’m the “write a note at 3 a.m.” type of writer if an idea pops into my mind.

Our books!Smiles and nodding heads as we spoke were very encouraging and the questions that followed about writing inspirations (Robert Harris’s Fatherland was one of mine), airships, strong heroines and Rome were proof we hadn’t bored the audience.

And as we signed books afterwards, the questions still came. Nothing is more pleasurable for a writer than talking about books and writing to engaged readers.

With Christina Courtenay, Andy Rossiter and Liesel Schwarz

With RNA Chair Christina Courtenay, Andy Rossiter and Liesel

In Hollywood Oscar-award style, I’d like to thank the Rossiter Books team who made the evening flow so well. For several weeks before, Carol, the events manager, had been in frequent email contact with me about the practical, PR and marketing aspects and I truly valued her consistent guidance.

The courtesy and warmth of our welcome made us feel at home from the moment we walked into the shop. Everything was beautifully organised; Andy, the owner, and Richard, the manager, couldn’t have been more friendly and helpful if they’d tried.

As you can see from the photos, it’s a beautiful shop. If you’re in the area, go and find out for yourself…


Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers, INCEPTIO,  PERFIDITAS and SUCCESSIO. The fourth book, AURELIA, is now out.

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4 comments to Rossiter Books – an evening of writing alternatively and fun!

  • Sandy

    Very interesting article!! Gave insight on how you both write and the imaginings you possess. Thanks!!

  • So glad it went so well, Alison. You look so happy, and so does Liesel. Wish I could have been there. And how fantastic that you’ve inspired that 13 year old.

    • Alison

      There’s nothing like interacting with readers! And that 13 year old may turn out to be a future Orange Prize winner. How fab would that be?