Sat. 9th April: The Historical Writers’ Association

Some of you may have heard of this august organisation already! It was set up in October last year, by the Roman and crime writer, Manda Scott. She very kindly asked me to be the Treasurer and not knowing how much work it would involve, I agreed. The other committee members are Tony Riches, Robert Low , Robyn Young, Stella Duffy and Michael Jecks.

Well, after a few frantic weeks and months, we have a live website, which is all-singing, all-dancing. It looks amazing – and so it should, given its expense. What’s most thrilling about this website, which is to publicise all types of writing about history – both fiction and nonfiction – is that it has a forum where readers/members of the web/curious types can ask questions of their favourite authors. We have nearly 100 members already – authors, publishers and agents. There are people who write books about Rome, Greece, Scotland, England, Tudor period, WW1, WW2, the Napoleonic period, the Victorian period – you name it, it’s there. (Not all the members’ details are up yet, thanks to a gremlin on Thursday, but they’ll be back up within a few days.) Anyway, please go and have a look, and start posting!

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  1. Posted 9 April 2011 at 19:43 | Permalink

    Im really enthusiastic about this site, the ability to talk to so many great authors and understand their drivers, their muse, their fustrations etc… and just to chin wag…great idea.

    Hope all from here pop along.

  2. annis
    Posted 10 April 2011 at 05:47 | Permalink

    All the best of luck with it, Ben. Maybe I should be a bit worried by the number of books listed on the HWA website that I’ve already read, though I guess it shows that the HWA authors are writers whose work I enjoy! I’m impressed by the Pirate Devlin’s ability to time-travel, btw – somehow he’s ended up in the Ancient World section 🙂

  3. benkane
    Posted 10 April 2011 at 09:54 | Permalink

    @Parmenion & Annis – thanks for the good wishes. It will look even better when the glitches like time-travelling pirates get sorted!

  4. Posted 10 April 2011 at 12:53 | Permalink

    Thank you sooo much for letting me know about this site now I can read more books by more authors woohoo!! Btw have you thought about writing a book based on Sulla? Or maybe some of the later emperors like marcus aurelius, hadrian or even nero? After your spartacus story of course 🙂

  5. benkane
    Posted 10 April 2011 at 14:04 | Permalink

    @cereza671: you’re very welcome! Not thought about Sulla, no. Hmmm. As for later emperors etc., I haven’t decided when to make the jump into the AD time period, if you know what I mean. Plus the two other trilogies in my head aren’t about those emperors. But there’s still time after that!

  6. John Salter
    Posted 11 April 2011 at 08:16 | Permalink

    Hi all. What an absolutely brilliant idea. The site looks really well made and I’ve joined already. I went straight to the Roman era and found I’ve already most read most of the books there but nonetheless it’s another excellent site to enjoy. Where has it been all these years?

  7. benkane
    Posted 11 April 2011 at 11:08 | Permalink

    @John: you read so fast! It would take a host of writers to keep you in books. 😉 Having said that, I do wish that I could write faster…it feels sooo slow only writing one every 6-9 months…

    The HWA only got set up in October last year, by Manda Scott, and me among others. I’ve no idea why it didn’t get set up before – it seems a logical thing, doesn’t it? But all the more reason for it to take off, I think!

  8. John Salter
    Posted 11 April 2011 at 11:41 | Permalink

    Ben, I wish I could faster there’s so many good books out there. I think after all the work that goes into writing a book, resource and then the writing and then all the editing etc etc a book every six to nine months is fantastic going! I’d rather wait that long and read a great story than have a weak book that’s not very good.

    For example I used to read every single James Patterson book that came out until he started writing with others authors and is now churning them out virtually every other month. His stories/books have down hill.

    I’m glad Ruth Downie is featured on HWA. Her books although not action packed or specifically about the legions are still good with Ruso the Roman Medicus getting embroiled in mysteries along with his now wife Tilla, a Briton he met at Deva. Her latest is my next Roman read, good stories and quite funny as well!

    The English Heritage function in July looks good and it’s not far from where I am, so I’ll be going! Good news!

  9. benkane
    Posted 11 April 2011 at 12:12 | Permalink

    @John: make sure you come to the HWA tent and introduce yourself. We can have a pint (my shout) and put the world to rights!

  10. John Salter
    Posted 12 April 2011 at 08:39 | Permalink

    Will do!

  11. Fabitaromunass
    Posted 14 April 2011 at 22:23 | Permalink

    This site is well good! Just registered, look for me as Spartacus! (fabitaromunass now seems a bit silly)

  12. benkane
    Posted 15 April 2011 at 09:53 | Permalink

    @Fabitaromunass: will look for you there as Spartacus! Glad you like the site too!

  13. Posted 1 May 2011 at 13:13 | Permalink

    I think you will do a tremendous job on the next trilogies hmm maybe Nero? Sometime later in the future? I suggested sulla because im not sure ive come across any books about him fictionally of course, itd be a great story. We kind of owe it to him for the creation of the triumvate and in a sense the building of a great empire lol if it had not been for his actions the people of rome would not have come up with the idea of the triumvate. Another good emperor would be marcus aurelius and constantine. Also hadrian.

  14. Posted 1 May 2011 at 13:14 | Permalink

    P.s. My goal is to read everybook I can from that site

  15. benkane
    Posted 1 May 2011 at 16:36 | Permalink

    @cereza671: you’ve set yourself a big goal! (Funny you say that, but I’ve set myself an unofficial target of reading a book by every member!)

  16. benkane
    Posted 1 May 2011 at 16:37 | Permalink

    @cereza671: thanks! Lots of people, lots of times – thank goodness that the Roman empire lasted for as long as it did!

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