Friday, January 6, 2012

Ancient Rome, Murder Mystery and Adventure: An afternoon with Kevin Ashman

This afternoon author Kevin Ashman has kindly agreed to talk to me about his bestselling books and how he came to write them.  Over to you Kevin!  

Hi there to all Katheryn’s readers and thanks for allowing me a few moments of your precious time.

First of all I would like to say I am a relative newcomer to writing, though have had some minor success, selling almost 8,000 copies since September 2011. Not life changing, but I am very grateful to all who have downloaded them so far.

Secondly, I would point out that the book overview below is not of my best seller Roman, but of my third book, Mortuus Virgo.

So, what is Mortuus Virgo about?

Mortuus Virgo is in my opinion the best book I have written so far. It is a modern day murder mystery, with clues that link back to the tragic life of one of Rome’s most famous Vestal Virgins, Rubria. Her tale is a mixture of fact and fiction, and follows her life through a tumultuous period in Rome’s history, when Nero was Emperor and Rome burned.

Mortuus Virgo also follows the adventures of India Sommers, a pretty librarian in modern day UK, who teams up with a special forces investigator, Brandon Walker to find the whereabouts of a missing VIP child. In order to unveil her whereabouts, they have to understand the history of a previously unknown cult, and follow the clues from an age before the pyramids, right up to modern day in a race against time. The themes throughout are mystery, tragedy and adventure tinged with unrequited love and follows both women’s stories, (albeit two thousand years apart) before finally kitting them all together in the final outcome.

In itself, the story of the Vestal Virgins is both tragic and fascinating with many buried alive in the name of love, or indeed lust. (To read more, click here)

What inspired me to write Mortuus Virgo?

Of all my books, I believe Mortuus Virgo is by far the most riveting read. The story came to me while walking the dog one evening and I virtually ran back to the house to scribble the ideas down and started writing straight away. Though I knew the story I wanted to tell, the end was unclear, however, (and I know this is a cliché) that night, I dreamed the ending. It was as if India spoke to me from the blank pages of my PC. (Strange, but true.)

Why do I write?

I started writing last year, to fulfil a life long dream. Once I started, I didn’t stop until I had written two books and even managed to get an agent. However, I withdrew from that arrangement as he wanted to change too many things and it wouldn’t have been the book I had written. That could have been a costly mistake, but I subsequently put them on Amazon, and within weeks, Roman in particular had sold thousands.

I don’t see myself as an author, but genuinely believe I can tell a good story with believable characters and an outcome that keeps people guessing. On average it takes about three months to draft a book and another one to edit. The sales are rising every day and I am very hopeful for the future.

What am I doing now?

I am halfway through the sequel to Mortuus Virgo, a quarter the way through the sequel to Roman. I also have a fist full of ideas drafted out for later on in the year. I am particularly pleased with all four book covers as they were done by my son, a third year graphic design student, though not without some serious nagging on my part.

Advice on writing.

There are many writers far more qualified than I to offer advice, and indeed, I think I have probably read most of it. However, if there is one piece of advice that holds true, at least for me anyway, and it is this. Don’t think about writing, sit down and do it now. A thousand words, five hundred words, ten words, it doesn’t matter, JUST WRITE SOMETHING!

Don’t procrastinate, or worry that you don’t know the full story yet, as it is very unlikely the whole plot will be clear to you in the beginning anyway. Often the characters lead the way and all we need to do as author’s (or story tellers) is nudge them in the right direction.

Good luck to everyone with your hopes and dreams, whatever they may be.

Best regards,


All the books will be available as paperbacks within the next few weeks.

I have also just started a new Author Facebook page at

I would love some new friends and hope to see you there


I am a 49 year old man from South Wales in the UK. For those who don’t know where that is, it is on the west coast of the UK facing across the sea to Ireland. I work full time as a project manager and write for two hours a night at my dining table, setting myself a minimum target of one thousand words a night on weekdays, and two thousand words a night on weekends. Not too onerous a task.


  1. hi i would just like to add that kevin also finds time to help us with advice in the creative writing support group on facebook we all find kevin an inspiration and a great friend

    shaun quarterman

  2. Hi Shaun,

    Kevin has certainly inpsired me to write more. His number of words a week is way higher than mine!

  3. Hi I would like to second Shaun's comments, Kevin is a great guy and a true inspiration to us novices. Also he is right, Mortuus Virgo is the best ever read!!!

    Great blog Katheryn, happy writing.

    Gill S

  4. Hi Gill,

    Thank you! I'm glad you like my blog.