Clearing up confusion about the Roma Nova series...

Many moons ago, I wrote a book, then a sequel and what I thought was the third of a trilogy. Set in the ‘present’, they featured a young woman, Carina Mitela, who had been brought up for the first part of her life as Karen Brown in the Eastern United States. INCEPTIO gave us a story of transformation to Carina and her self-empowerment when she was twenty-four years old. In PERFIDITAS, she was  thirty-two and well-established in her Roma Novan life and finally, SUCCESSIO when she was thirty-nine, brought her story to a conclusion. Readers liked the stories which won accolades, good reviews and awards. So we had Books I, II and III.

But I was stealthily writing another book, AURELIA, which was in the ‘wrong’ order because it went back to an earlier period in Roma Nova’s history – the late 1960s – and featured the story of the younger version of Carina’s grandmother, Aurelia Mitela. Then I grasped the very sharp nettle and wrote about the Great Rebellion ((INSURRECTIO) and its aftermath (RETALIO) in which Aurelia Mitela was said to have played a secret, and speculative part. Writing a coup d’état, repression, resistance and retaliation involved quite a lot of research. So it seemed we had a second trilogy – Books IV, V and VI, sort of a prequel trilogy, even thought it was written afterwards. I was slightly uneasy about this numbering, but what could I do? The stories had to be told!

The original editions of the original two Roma Nova trilogies

Then I went and messed it all up.

What would I write next? Everybody seemed to be writing novellas and although I thought of myself as a long-form writer (88-100,000 words) and wondered how  on earth I would write anything as short as 35,000 words, I thought I’d give it a go. I’d always wanted to expand on Carina and Daniel’s infamous castle climbing incident, plus I wanted to send her back to North America  which was quite a bit different to our North America. CARINA was the result. But how to number it? I could hardly call it ‘IS’ (S for semi), the Latin way of signifying 1.5, in today’s political climate. So it received no number on the retailer sites.

Covers of the first editions of CARINA and ROMA NOVA EXTRA

Two orphans…

In the meantime, I wrote a collection of Roma Nova short stories stretching across two millennia – also fated to receive no number or place in the series on some retailer sites, especially the one beginning with A.

It was a truly imperial mess.

But Roma Nova stories were still tumbling out of my head. When I was drafting NEXUS, a novella to slot in between AURELIA  and INSURRECTIO, I knew I HAD TO DO SOMETHING. After a lot of dithering, I went for a radical solution. I decided to change the covers and rework the series. It would become two mini-series within the overall Roma Nova series. So here, in brief, is the new Roma Nova world order:

The Carina strand

INCEPTIO, where New Yorker Karen Brown is thrown into a new life in mysterious Roma Nova and fights to stay alive with a killer hunting her..
CARINA, a novella, Carina’s first mission abroad. What could go wrong?
PERFIDITAS, six years on, where betrayal and rebellion are in the air, threatening to topple Roma Nova and ruin Carina’s life.
SUCCESSIO, where a mistake from the past threatens to destroy the next generation.

The Aurelia strand

AURELIA, in late 1960s Roma Nova, Aurelia Mitela battles silver smuggling and illegal trading and must make the heartbreaking choice between her love, her child and her country…
NEXUSMid 1970s, London, where a simple favour for a friend becomes a chilling pursuit across Europe
INSURRECTIO, where Aurelia Mitela struggles against a manipulative tyrant grabbing power. But it may already be too late to save Roma Nova…
RETALIO, a classic tale of resistance and retribution – the endgame between Aurelia and Caius

ROMA NOVA EXTRA, a collection of short stories from AD 370 to the present (where both Carina and Aurelia make an appearance).
THE OFFICIAL ROMA NOVA READING GUIDE (Free!), an introduction to the whole series, cover images, publication dates, links to stores, short synopses, why Alison wrote each book, a suggested reading order, plus first chapters from each book. And at the end a short version of the Roma Nova story.

New covers, new name
I’ve called the two groups ‘strands‘, like strands of existence, of thread, of thought. The Oxford Dictionaries defines ‘strand’ in this sense as: An element that forms part of a complex whole.” I reckon that works well with Roma Nova! 

But the one thing that’s common to all the books, whether the first edition or this new re-ordering, is that the heroines are courageous, determined and decisive, and go well beyond their duty, even at peril of their lives and loves. But they make some equally terrible foul-ups, sometimes from fear, but usually from the best of motives. And we know how that turns out.


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. JULIA PRIMA, a new Roma Nova story set in the late 4th century, is now out.

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 update. 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 Clearing up confusion about the Roma Nova series…

  • Very interesting! I kind of went the other way around … I wrote about a guy obsessed with a lost gold mine. Single POV, adventure mystery. Then I had the idea for a sequel and wrote it, same guy but multiple POV and more characters; it was more of a murder mystery with the same focus, the lost gold mine. Then I brought in the third book in the series, another murder mystery, but a different focus. I unsuccessfully marketed all three of these as stand-alone parts of the series. Shortly after the third book came out I realized I had been all wrong: together they comprise a trilogy. The first book leads directly into the second, which leads directly to the third. Still not stellar sales, but there has been a definite uptick since I changed my focus.

    • Alison

      Sometimes you don’t realise how the series is evolving until it has evolved. All the Roma Nova books can be read as standalones, but the experience is richer if you read them as a series.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.