Archive | News

In the Trenches

 Serbian officer and soldiers from the Austro-Hungarian Empire My blog is a day early this week, as I’m heading up to the Peak District for a bit of hill walking. I stumbled across an interesting article that says Pat Barker (author of the Regeneration trilogy) is writing a new take on the Iliad, entitled The Silence [...]

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Easter – a time for new beginnings

Two years ago yesterday, I walked out of my old job. Most of the previous ten years there had been enjoyable, if fairly dull. I liked my colleagues and the wages were good, but there was no sense of achievement or fulfilment. I wasn’t making anybody’s world a better place, least of all mine. Then [...]

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Writing when asleep

I’ve been quite tired this week. The older my kids get, the harder it is to get them to bed before 9.30pm. That leaves less time in the evenings to relax (which, as all parents know, is almost impossible with children around), which means I go bed later. The problem is that the more tired [...]

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The Real Heracles

I’m excited to announce that Son of Zeus, the first in my upcoming trilogy about Heracles, will be launched as an e-book on 19th April. It’ll be available from Amazon, as usual. A paperback version will follow later, and as this is being produced and distributed by my publisher, Canelo, it will hopefully be available [...]

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Wrath of the Gods

My youngest daughter is 11 today. I often hear people say how quickly their kids grow up, but for me it seems to have been a very slow process. It’s easy to think back eleven years to my cousin Jason’s wake, where I learned my wife had gone into labour and that I was needed [...]

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Not a proper job?

It’s been an up-and-down week for writing. I wrote 3,400 words on Tuesday, which is nearly a record for me, but Wednesday was taken up by going through the copy-editor’s notes for Son of Zeus, and Thursday I was at school helping Year 3s write biographies about famous locals. They had a choice of Martin [...]

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TROY: FALL OF A CITY

I wonder what your thoughts are on the BBC’s new drama series, Troy: Fall of a City, which aired in the UK last Saturday. I admit I was only tentatively looking forward to watching it, as large and small screen adaptations of the Greek myths have too often left me disappointed and frustrated. Mostly, I [...]

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The dangers of mobile phones

It was half term in Leicestershire this week, so I’ve had the joy of trying to write with the kids at home. My study does have a lock on the door, but that just means my daughters stand there and shout for my attention when they want me (usually for something trivial like “the rabbit [...]

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Echidna, the Mother of Monsters

I finished the second edit of Son of Zeus on Tuesday. A couple of days later than I’d promised, but I did lose nearly a week to the flu, so I’m not going to beat myself up about it. Here’s a tiny taster from a scene where one of the characters encounters Echidna, the Mother [...]

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Hylas and the Nymphs

I admit to being a bit bemused over the Manchester Art Gallery’s removal of J W Waterhouse’s painting, Hylas and the Nymphs http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-42904024  The story caught my attention because I have a framed print of it on my study wall, just above my computer. I’m glad to say I haven’t removed mine, which I’m looking [...]

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Editing with the flu

After meeting my editor last week, this week has been about revisiting my first Heracles book and working in his suggestions. Unfortunately, I’ve also had flu. If I’m ill or tired, it’s generally a waste of time trying to do any sort of writing – it took me eight hours over Wednesday and Thursday just [...]

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My editor’s thoughts on Son of Zeus

I had lunch today with Michael, my editor at Canelo, to discuss Son of Zeus, the first book in my new Heracles series. He suggested a few changes to the text, but they were only minor so I’m hoping to have it ready for the next stage – copy editing – by mid-February. We also [...]

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Minoan Bull-Leaping

So far, so good – two weeks into 2018 and I’m maintaining my resolution to keep a weekly blog. Yay! The week’s writing has gone well. I’ve surpassed my target for word count and I’m reasonably happy with the quality of what I’ve written. I usually tend to feel a little disappointed with it – [...]

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First blog of the year

Unfortunately, I’m not very good at updating my website. I’m not very hot on social media, either. Though I love writing (luckily), I really struggle with any form of self-marketing. It’s just not amongst my giftings. Realising this, I’ve decided I must try harder, so have resolved to update my website every Friday throughout 2018, [...]

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Return to Ithaca

I’ve been a bit tardy in updating my website lately, so sorry to all those who have been awaiting information on the sixth (and final!) installment in the Odysseus series. The good news is that things are well on their way. I finished the first draft of Return to Ithaca back in February, and the [...]

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The Victory Show

If you love history then one of the best ways to indulge your passion is to go to history shows. For several years I attended English Heritage’s Festival of History, held at Kelmarsh Hall, just a little down the road from where I live. For two days the fields before this old country house would [...]

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Plotting the Odyssey

When I first had the idea of writing a series of books about Odysseus back in 1999, I knew the last two volumes in the series would be a chronological retelling of the Odyssey – starting with Odysseus’s voyage back from Troy and ending with his much-delayed return to Ithaca. I’d even created a loose [...]

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A Song of War

  I’ve been asked to write the foreword for A Song of War, an upcoming collection of short stories about the Trojan War. Considering the calibre of the authors involved, including Christian G Cameron, Kate Quinn and SJA Turney, I feel very honoured. There are seven “songs” in the compilation. Although each tale can be [...]

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A few reviews… and an interview with Eperitus!

There have been a few excellent articles recently about The Voyage of Odysseus and I wanted to share them here for everyone to have a look. The first is from the Edinburgh Book Review. It’s in-depth and very nicely written – well worth a read. See the excerpt below: “Iliffe expertly walks a thin line throughout [...]

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Katabasis

For all those readers who asked for signed copies, the delivery has finally arrived. I will post these on Tuesday, so they should be with you by the end of the week. I hope you enjoy reading them. In the meantime, I’ve been busy writing a couple of guest blogs and compiling another Q&A session for [...]

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