Always expect the unexpected - Filofax

Did you ever own a Filofax or other personal organiser?
Do you still own one?

Contrary (perhaps) to popular belief, it’s still going as an effective time management and even life management tool. A super-enthusiastic community worldwide is extremely active and knowledgeable.

You may also ask how I and this blog about Romans and thrillers are connected to Filofaxes. Well, this brand new A-Z guide, available for pre-order today, was written, compiled and sweated over by my husband, Steve Morton, and published through my imprint, Pulcheria Press.

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Available now for pre-order:
Ebook: Kindle (Amazon worldwide)    Apple    Kobo    B&N Nook
Paperback: Amazon UK   Amazon US    Barnes & Noble
Book Depository   Waterstones
(Publication date 3 January 2022)
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Who is Steve?
Although he bought his first Filofax organiser in 1986, Steve moved to an electronic organiser in the 1990s. A change of job in 2005 where he worked in a high security environment prompted his return to a Filofax.

He has used one daily ever since.

Now retired from being a radio and electronics engineer, Steve now devotes his time to the Philofaxy blog website and the planner community.

Quirky fact: he featured in the highly acclaimed The Dull Men of Great Britain book published in 2019 by Random House due to his Filofax dedication.

Since 2016 Steve co-hosts a podcast, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Plannerverse, devoted to making better use of planners.

So, what could this book do for you?

Filofax is the great survivor turned indispensable cult.

  • But how do you choose the size and the inserts from so many on offer?
  • How do you select the design to work best for you?
  • How does your Filofax fit into and enhance your life?

Whether you’re thinking of getting your first Filofax organiser, have just bought it or are a long-term user, this guide will help you get the best out of it, from the basics to the clever stuff.

  • Easy A-Z format
  • In-depth review of different designs (and their quirks!)
  • Secret features users might not suspect exist
  • Timeline of Filofax’s history through the last 100 years
  • Introduction to other leading manufacturers of organisers (Gillio, Van Der Spek)

Several years of pain, fun and experience are brought together in one book which will suit both new and established users.

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Connect with Steve and the community
Philofaxy blog: https://philofaxy.blogspot.com

Facebook:
The Philofaxy public page: www.facebook.com/Philofaxy/ 
Steve’s Philofaxy page: www.facebook.com/MrPhilofaxy/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/MrPhilofaxy/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/philofaxy

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I’m very proud to be able to place my editing, formatting and publishing skills, experience and contacts behind this great reference book. I know Steve is my life partner and has been for over 35 years(!), but I think this guide is not only useful in a practical sense, but also an extremely accessible guide to take you through the world of personal organisers.

Here’s where you can pre-order it now:

Ebook: Kindle (Amazon stores worldwide)    Apple    Kobo    B&N Nook
Paperback: Amazon UK   Amazon US   Barnes &Noble  Book Depository

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fILE OF fACTS: A Comprehensive A-Z Reference for Everything fILOFAX
Publication by Pulcheria Press 3 January 2022
Ebook: ISBN 9791097310332
Paperback: ISBN 9791097310325

 

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. Double Pursuit, the sequel, 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 newsletter. You’ll also be among the first to know about news and book progress before everybody else, and take part in giveaways.

Historical research – it's a hard road

Roman relief depicting a travelling wagon (raeda)from a tomb from Virunum, Zollfeld, Austria

Roman relief depicting a travelling wagon (raeda) from a tomb from Virunum, Zollfeld, Austria

Drafting my new Roma Nova story set in the fourth century is slow, glacially slow at times. I know Roma Nova, I know its ‘history’, but when you get down to the nitty gritty of writing in a time and place that’s completely alien, you need to check everything. And I mean everything.

Every book needs some research and my modern  Roma Nova thrillers were no exception. But now I’m stepping back sixteen hundred years…

Let’s take transport as an example

For the physical geography, you can use Google Maps. (Other map/satellite software is available, as they say.) Discounting the built environment and modern transport infrastructure, you can look at hills, shorelines and valleys and get a feel for the landscape.

For Roman fiction writers, there’s a wonderful dynamic map called Digital Atlas of the Roman Empire hosted and managed by the Centre for Digital Humanities, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

You can find names of settlements, their modern names, routes and status information. Brilliant! Did you know the modern town of Prosecco (hic!) was called Castellum Pincinum, had a metal works and was a minor port?

When you want to find out how long it takes to get from A to B, whether by walking, ship or ox-cart, there’s the ever reliable interactive ORBIS from Stanford University.

But what is it like to ride along roads at the back end of empire? Maintenance has become sporadic as revenues have diminished, military has localised and far fewer private citizens are will to put their hands in their togas for the required funds. And, of course, brigands are becoming bolder…

I know zilch about riding a horse. I went on one once, didn’t like it, fell off and vowed never to go near one again. Roman horses were smaller – I gleaned that from research – and it’s commonly known Romans didn’t use stirrups. I still can’t find any solid information about how you mounted a horse under those circumstances, especially civilian riders. Were mounting blocks common? Let me know if you know!

Horses also have to be rested, fed and watered on a regular basis. You can’t hammer a horse even when fleeing without it collapsing or at least becoming dehydrated and exhausted.

But I have a horsey friend who breeds horses and whose daughter is a prizewinning show jumper. She’s also and award-winning historical fiction writer so guess who I will send my manuscript to when it’s finished?

Travelling clothes are another one. According to Lionel Casson’s Travel in the Ancient World, women travellers on horseback wore more or less the same clothes as men, but longer so their legs were decently covered. I’ve put my new heroine Julia in breeches. Although the daughter of a prince, she’s a mountain girl. Towards the end of the fourth century, breeches/trousers /leggings were becoming a great deal more common and it was cold in ‘them thar hills’!

And when you’re on a very rural road or a high mountain route, how do you feed and accommodate yourself? Hopefully, there is a river nearby to replenish your leather water bottles and the occasionally amenable farmer from whom you can scrounge or pay for a night’s rest and supper. And what would you eat and in what quantities? Rural farming diet is a long way from nightingales’ tongues and spiced oysters of Rome and Naples.

But I love being back in the late Roman Empire as it’s a period  when the bones and structure of classical Roman empire are still there, but as parts of it are crumbling away, new flesh is being put on those bones as Europe goes through a massive period of change. The ever increasing lack of records in this period doesn’t make the research any easier, but the challenge is part of the fun!

If you want to know more about how and where Roman roads were built, you might find this post interesting: On the Road to Rome.

 

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. Double Pursuit, the sequel, 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 newsletter. You’ll also be among the first to know about news and book progress before everybody else, and take part in giveaways.

“Let me entertain you” with Double Pursuit

I write because I want to entertain and intrigue people. I love telling a story and doing puzzles. Today, I’ve published my eleventh fiction book.

That’s enough about me!

But I do hope you find Double Pursuit entertaining. It isn’t the ‘Great British Novel’ although I hope it’s a bit more than a fluffy wham-bang adventure.

You know perhaps that I’m a ‘serial’ writer, so you’ll notice it follows Double Identity, but neither book depends on the other. Like the Roma Nova thrillers you’ll get a richer background if you read the earlier one, but you don’t have to in order to enjoy this one.

There’s event a little prequel to the series, that gives a clue to heroine Mel’s ‘pursuer’, and you can download that ‘The Sand Below Her Feet‘ free (along with a free Roma Nova story) when you subscribe to my newsletter.

In the meantime, enjoy Double Pursuit!
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She’s hunting arms smugglers. But who is hunting her?

One dead body, two badly injured operatives and five crates of hijacked rifles.

In Rome, former French special forces intelligence analyst Mélisende des Pittones is frustrated by obnoxious local cops and ruthless thugs. Despite the backing of the powerful European Investigation and Regulation Service, her case is going nowhere. Then an unknown woman tries to blow her head off.

As Mel and fellow investigator Jeff McCracken attempt to get a grip on the criminal network as well as on their own unpredictable relationship, all roads point to the place she dreads – the arid and remote African Sahel – where she was once betrayed and nearly died. Can Mel conquer her fear as she races to smash the network and save her colleague’s life?

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Ebook: Amazon    Kobo     B&N Nook     Apple
Paperback: Barnes & Noble   Book Depository  Amazon UK  Amazon US

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Published by Pulcheria Press 19 October 2021
Ebook: ISBN 9791097310301
Paperback: ISBN 9791097310318

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. Double Pursuit, the sequel is out on 19 October 2021.

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.