Tag Archives: Caradoc

10 Questions with…Keith Nixon

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Today i bring to you an interview with author Keith Nixon who kindly offered to answer some of my questions. I hope you find this as insightful as i did myself.

Q1 – How long have you been a writer and what influenced you to first put pen to paper?

Since I was about nine but I really started writing properly about 25 years ago in my early 20’s. It was a historical fiction novel – my wife’s grandfather stole a train in WW2 Italy to escape from the Germans. I initially wrote historical fiction as I felt I could only write something around a central event. I started my Roman books because of a visit to Maiden Castle. It’s a massive structure and I wondered how the Romans had managed to take it. Otherwise the drive to put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard) is just something inside. I’ve no idea what produces it.

Q2 – I’ve read 3 of your books so far and they cover quite different subjects. Do you have a particular favourite genre?

My preference is crime. However, I can’t help but add a humorous edge (usually based on sarcasm) at least somewhere in a novel. I might try and outright humour novel next…

Q3 – Where do you get your ideas from and does it take long to see them come to full fruition

That’s a very difficult question to answer. It’s usually from a single spark. It might be an event, big or small that either happens to me, I hear about or read a newspaper article on. Or it might be a person and their behaviour or a couple of words that just makes me want to tell a story around it.

I’m a fast writer, but a slow congealer of a story. I take quite a bit of time pulling all the threads together and reworking story arcs. A 60-70,000 crime novel will take me six months. Considering I can write 1,000 – 2,000 words in a day if I’ve a clear run, that’s quite a stretch. Historical fiction is more like nine months, just because of all the layers of research that need to go in. Mind you, The Eagle’s shadow took nearly two years and nine redrafts.

Q4 – I’d be interested to know out of the novels you’ve wrote do you have a favourite?And if so why?

I’m up to seven published novels now and two more currently being beta read. They’re all a bit different. I’d probably choose The Fix, primarily because I’ll likely never produce anything like it again. I just had a lot of fun pulling it together and I never intended to have it published. Putting it out opened up so many things for me – a whole world of friends and experiences that I wouldn’t have otherwise had.

Q5 – Who have been your biggest influences/support within the writing community?

My biggest influence initially was Ian Rankin. His was the first crime novel I read (the seminal Black and Blue).

In terms of people I know and have worked with the list goes on. The crime genre is very supportive. There are lots of writers, bloggers and reviewers so willing to give of their free time.

Quite remarkable. So I couldn’t really name a single name for fear of leaving someone out. I’m very lucky…

Q6 – Are there any books/authors you’re looking forward to reading this year?

I read a lot less than I used to. A mixture of less time and a struggle to find novels that really do it for me. Tony Black is one author I always read, there’s a rumour he has a new Gus Dury novel out. Can’t wait for that…

Q7 – I note on your website you’ve done a few reviews yourself. Is this something you enjoy and plan to do more of?

Same issue of reading less really. I do enjoy reviewing, it’s a great way of connecting with other authors. I tend to cover crime (unsurprisingly), debuts and Scottish authors, but not exclusively.

I’d like to do more, but time is limited – writing a lot, busy job and family!

Q8 – How important is feedback from your readers?

Extremely important. Reviews are very hard to come by. I’ve sold about 15,000 copies of The Eagle’s Shadow, yet (at time of writing) reviews on Amazon UK are at 92. That’s a tiny level of respondents. I’ve learned a lot from feedback, primarily because as the author it’s a wood for the trees thing. I can see and hear all the behaviours and speech of my characters, but the reader is in a different place. If I’ve badly communicated the plot, they’ll soon tell me. It helps me grow as an author. I’ve been fortunate enough to have far more positive responses than negative.

Q9 – I particularly enjoyed The Eagles Blood & The Eagles Shadow, any plans to revisit Caradoc any time soon?

Caradoc was the one that properly started it for me so absolutely, yes. They’re my best sellers, but the longest to write. I’m just planning my as yet unnamed third Caradoc novel (it’ll have Eagle in the title, for sure). Ironically it’s my 10th novel. Once Caradoc sails away then I expect Fionn will take up the mantle with his own series.

Q10 – Plans for 2016? I’m sure we’d all like to know what you plan to bring us this year

Lots! The two crime books I have in beta (the fourth Konstantin novel and a police procedural) will come out at some point, depending on the publisher, and Caradoc 3 at least. I’d expect to have one further novel well underway by the end of 2016. I just wish I had more hours in the day…

Thank you Keith 🙂 I truly appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions and help myself and other readers have a little insight to your life

If you haven’t already take a look at my Author Spotlight post for Keith to see why i enjoy his books so much.

To find out more about Keith’s books head to Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

You can also connect with Keith via his website, Twitter and Facebook

The Eagle’s Blood (Caradoc #2) by Keith Nixon – Review

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Title – The Eagle’s Blood (Caradoc #2)
Author – Keith Nixon
Genre – Historical Fiction
Length – 292 Pages
Publication – March 2015
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

The British army is shattered, defeat snatched from the jaws of victory by subterfuge and betrayal. Caradoc flees the battlefield, the crown heavy on his head and his heart set on retribution. He has to make hard decisions and tough compromises, but with the sovereignty of Britain at stake, personal pride sometimes has to take second place.

Emperor Claudius is determined to make as much political mileage as possible out of the Roman victory in an attempt to consolidate his own position. That doesn’t sit well with the Roman military, who have their own objectives and who will do whatever it takes to achieve them.

As the Romans consolidate their gains and begin to push west, Caradoc finds he has few friends left. He must turn to the Durotriges, a wild, hill fort dwelling tribe. But the Durotriges are riven by strife and petty squabbles.

Aulus Plautius, commander of the Roman army, brings his siege weapons to bear, can Caradoc resist the onslaught?

Review

Before I start have you read my review of The Eagle’s Shadow?? If not where have you been? Check it out here

Ok. So here we are trust back into the war between the British and Roman armies. During the first book we learn of a battle which turned out to be a major win for the Romans due to the divided loyalties of the British tribes at the time. This book continues on after book one and we are back we one of my favourite characters Fionn and the action is pretty much non-stop in this fast moving tale.

In the first book I really liked Caradoc but in this book you see a different side to the man. He becomes blinded by revenge and we see Fionn and his friends struggle to see eye to eye with his decisions. Fionn has his own demons in this book too.. I’m not saying too much as it would spoil it for you.

While Caradoc has his mind set firmly on revenge Fionn wants to hit back at the Romans so this book mainly focuses on the period where they are trying to gather support from the other tribes. Needless to say things do not go Fionn’s way.

Keith has written an excellent follow up book which he clearly researched well. I think it’s always hard to get the flow right between two books but the transition is seamless and it felt as if I’d never but the first book down. There were some great additions to the characters in this one which made the book feel fresh but you also had a lot of detail given to some of the characters from the first book which gave them more depth. I particularly enjoyed reading anything involving Anatolius.

One of the things I loved the most was the different point of views. You see the story play out from both the British and Roman stand point and it made for compelling reading

There’s only one downside to this book.. it had to end..I just wanted to turn the page and keep reading. It’s a true talent to keep a reader wanting more when it comes to a series of books but Keith managed to do this within the first few chapters and has hooked me in with his story telling so much already that I already have another non historical fiction piece of his in my review pile and I intend to read more of his work over the next few months

If you are a fan of the genre this series is a must!

Here’s hoping Keith writes Caradoc #3 soon!

To read more reviews or to purchase the book (which i know you’ll want to do) head to Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

The Eagle’s Shadow by Keith Nixon – Review

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Title – The Eagle’s Shadow
Author – Keith Nixon
Genre – Historical Fiction
Publication – 8th June 2014
My Rating – 5/5

Synopsis

One man stands against the might of the Roman Empire. His name is Caradoc.

In Rome a new Emperor, Claudius, accedes the throne. But he is politically weak, enemies who would take his place circle and plot. If he is to survive Claudius needs a triumph, one that marks him as a leader of men.

Claudius’s eye turns to the mysterious isle of Britannia, home of the supernatural Druids and brutal, wild-eyed warriors, reputed to fight naked. The place not even Julius Caesar could conquer.

AD43 and a massive invasion force, commanded by Aulus Plautius, lands on a tiny corner of Britannia. Caradoc, King of the country’s most powerful tribe, assembles an army to throw his enemy back over the water and into Gaul.

But divisions are rife and there are those who are secretly working with the Romans for their own benefit. The very future of the country is at risk and only one man can safeguard it…

Review

This book is a fast paced, epic war story and boy did I enjoy it.

First of there is a lot of information in this book but Keith very handily added a section at the beginning of the book to explain the names used within the book since place names have changed over the years along with rivers etc. This was not only useful so I could set the scene but it was also very interesting information

We find ourselves thrust into time when Rome was planning to invade Britain and the author decided to tell his tale from both the Roman and the Britons view point. This gave a great feel to the book and broke up the action perfectly so you kept reading without even noticing the time pass.

Keith has picked a very interesting subject for the book and built on this story with the characters. There are a few I liked a lot.. Fionn & Etain stood out for me.  The action with Fionn had me hooked!

There are a large number of characters in this book; Because of this some don’t get a chance to develop. Once you read the book you can totally understand why though as there so much going on in the book it would be too much to squeeze in and also the story is so strong and violent it’s inevitable some of these characters will die

The author goes into some great detail describing the warfare tactics and clearly has researched well.

I felt the story easily pulled me in and I even found myself shouting in my head “Move, Move” when it came to clashes between the two armies.

One of the most interesting parts of this book for me was the relationships between the tribes in Britain at the time. I won’t spoil the book for you but these relationships coupled with the unified force of the Romans made for an epic tale

From reading the authors historical notes he gives a great insight into some of the characters and the time period and it’s definitely peaked my interest and made me want to read up on this time period.

I’m very pleased to see there is a follow up book and I’m looking forward to reading/reviewing that soon

Conclusion… Do I think this book is worth the 99p asking price currently on Amazon? Hell yes!

If you enjoy tales involving warfare, blood, guts, tension, betrayal then you will certainly like this book

To find out more about this book head to Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com