It’s been too long…and some Housesteads news!

It’s been over a month since I posted here, for which my sincere apologies. After finishing Spartacus: Rebellion, my mind went blank for about ten days. I’ve not done such an intense period of writing (Boxing Day until Feb. 25th, 6 days a week, 10-14 hours a day) since writing The Forgotten Legion. The mental effort was worth it, however, as bar a bit of pruning, my editor gave the thumbs up to the book. It’s basically done now.

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been busy coming up with the ideas for new books, the proposals for which will shortly be submitted to my publishers, Random House. I can’t say what they’ll be about, other than Rome will be featured! Sorry, but you’ll understand my reasons for keeping quiet until the ink has dried on the contract. I’ve now done about 3/4 of my synopses, and aim to have the lot done in the next week or two. Then it’s on to Hannibal 2: Legionary. (Gordon, if you’re reading this, I didn’t nick your name – I gave the book this title over 3 years ago.)

Happy reading and Easter to you all!

In some great Roman news, the museum at Housesteads on Hadrian’s Wall has been updated, and it looks great. I cannot wait to visit it. Watch a short video about it here.

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  1. Mike Reed
    Posted 30 March 2012 at 19:08 | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing that with us Ben, I really enjoyed watching that film. It’s a shame I can’t go to the opening of the new Housesteads Museum which I know is tomorrow, not really because of the petrol chaos, but because I’ll (all being well) be meeting members of Roman Tours in Lancaster. But I’m sure to go there in the very near future, it looks really inspiring.

  2. sownack
    Posted 2 April 2012 at 15:06 | Permalink

    Hello Ben! Good to see you back. I hope you had a great trip to Rome and don’t wonder that your mind went blank after such an intense period of writing.

    Thanks for posting the link to the video. Housesteads looks really interesting and DH and I plan to visit as soon as we can, subject to finding someone to cat sit for us. It’s too far to go for a day trip and so we can make a short break of it. Good chance to taste a few local brews in that area too 🙂

    I was in London last week visiting relatives (DH was looking after said cat) and went to the British Museum to see the Vindolanda letters again. Incredible. I get goose bumps every time I see them.

    Looking forward to starting on the Forgotten Legion books on Thursday when I should get them as a birthday present. Lucky me 🙂

  3. Ben Kane
    Posted 2 April 2012 at 18:19 | Permalink

    @sownack: Happy Birthday on Thursday!! I hope you enjoy your birthday presents 😉

    Do you know, I have never seen the Vindolanda letters. Something I must remedy. Soon.

  4. Posted 7 April 2012 at 18:24 | Permalink

    Happy Easter to you.

    Wow, that Housesteads museum looks cool. I really need to go to the Hadrian’s Wall again. Plus that hundred-something other places I want to visit or re-visit (like the now finished church in Wismar which I saw in state of sad disrepair in 2004 – got a peek behind the scaffolding curtain to watch the artisans working which was interesting).

    Anyone got this weeks lottery numbers in advance? 😀

  5. sownack
    Posted 10 April 2012 at 09:05 | Permalink

    So we went to Housesteads yesterday and took advantage of some family guests to take care of the cat for the day. It was a long drive and we were out for twelve hours. One of the party was an eight year old boy interested in all things Roman because he has just studied them at school 🙂

    We arrived at Hadrian’s Wall in good time after an early start and had lunch at the Twice Brewed Inn which is child friendly. Meal good, beer good. Then went up to Steel Rigg and were almost blown away with the cold wind.

    Drove to Housesteads, but I was not quite as impressed as I hoped to be. It is a bit confusing. It is not made clear where you purchase your tickets from and many people, including us, went into the shop by the car park and asked there. Were directed up the hill to the ticket office and museum. I expected the museum to be bigger and contain more, but I think I was spoiled by the museum and artifacts at Vindolanda two years ago. However it was interesting enough, as were the remains of the fort and we enjoyed the short video film too.

    The latrine block caught the attention of the eight year old and we were told all about the sponge sticks! Apparently Caroline Lawrence visited his school a while back and this was a subject of great discussion amongst all the juniors. One can only imagine…………….

    In the shop they sold copies of books by Rosemary Sutcliff, M C Scott and a certain Ben Kane amongst others. In fact I told a member of staff that your blog alerted me to the re-opening of Housesteads and we visited because of it. So maybe you can negotiate a discount for yourself if you do visit.

    As a result of all of this I am going to Hexham and back on 28 April to see Simon Scarrow at the Book Festival. Something I would not have known about had I not done a google search after reading this blog and followed the links.

  6. Ben Kane
    Posted 16 April 2012 at 20:58 | Permalink

    @sownack: thanks for the update – glad you enjoyed your visit, and to have been of help!

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