Agricola’s Bane – Nancy Jardine / #Interview #BlogTour @rararesources @nansjar



A.D. 84 Northern Roman Britain
Nith of Tarras helps Enya of Garrigill in the search for her kin, missing after the disastrous battle at Beinn na Ciche fought between the Caledonian warriors and the mighty Ancient Roman legions. Enya soon has a heartrending choice to make. Should she tread Vacomagi territory that’s swarming with Roman auxiliaries to find her brother? Or, should she head south in search of her cousin who has probably been enslaved by the Romans?

The Commander of the Britannic Legions and Governor of Britannia – General Gnaeus Iulius Agricola – is determined to claim more barbarian territory for the Roman Empire, indeed plans to invade the whole island, but finds not all decisions are his to make. It increasingly seems that the goddess, Fortuna, does not favour him.

The adventures of the Garrigill clan continue…




  • Which character would you like to be in this book?

I’d like to be General Gnaeus Iulius Agricola. It couldn’t have been an easy job to have been in total charge of everything that went on in Roman Britain during his time as Governor of Britannia and supreme commander of all Ancient Roman troops. He was a seasoned military campaigner and was well used to soldiering in many other locations of Britain by the time he marched his armies to the north-east of ‘Scotland’. He had spent almost his entire military career in Britannia, but I truly believe that the geography of what is now Scotland and the tribes who lived there were a whole new headache for him. Conducting military attack in mountain areas wasn’t new since he had spent a lot of time subduing the tribes of ‘Wales’ and north England. He was well-capable of sending thousands of troops into the mountain passes to quell any Caledonian uprising, but he didn’t. ‘Getting into his head’ while writing his scenes was a big challenge, deciding how he felt yet as a commander couldn’t show his feelings or vulnerabilities to those around him. He’s quite a guy!

  • Do you always take a book/ereader wherever you go?

Yes. Everywhere, like recently at the dentist. I had to wait for emergency treatment and thought I’d have time to get more of my story read but, sadly and happily, I only had to wait a few minutes.

  • Say someone asks if they can use your name in a book. Would you rather be the ‘good one’ or the ‘bad one’?

Great question. I’d have to say it might depend on what kind of book it was. I’d not want to be a really awful baddy in a thriller, or crime novel. So, having said that, I guess I’d prefer to be a goody.

  • Do you prefer to read/write standalones or series?

I’ve written and published three stand alone mysteries and really enjoyed the process. I’ve one novel published of what is intended to be a time-travel historical series but had to abandon Book 2 to get my historical Celtic Fervour Saga of five books done. I like the continuity of doing a saga where first generation family members appear as minor characters in later books, after taking centre stage in earlier ones. A saga allows for jumps ahead in time as, in my case, second generation members are the ones involved in the adventurous events in Book 5 some twenty years after those in Book 1.

As a reader, I enjoy series books but always like to start at the beginning and work through the series. If reading a stand alone, I prefer full-length novels, or ones at least upwards of 50,000 words. With shorter novels or novellas I feel almost short-changed when the story is over too quickly.

  • Where can I find you when you are reading?

If fiction, often at my desk when taking a break from writing tasks, or in the lounge, or in bed. I’d like to say my garden but I get irritated if the sun creates a glare, so reading outside, even under a parasol, is rare. If I’m reading research books, which tend to be hefty paperback or hardbacks, I prefer to read at the table in my dining room that’s near my desk and my ‘topical books’ bookcase. There are bookcases all over the house but current research materials tend to be in that bookcase close by my writing desk.

  • Where can I find you when you are not writing/reading?

At my daughter’s house, when I regularly grandchild mind. They’re 5 and 7 so doing any writing or reading of note tends to be abandoned. I’d also be outside working in my good-sized garden. I’m the sole gardener so it’s the heavy grunt-work I do rather than decorative dead-heading of flowers. You might also find me at one of my regular Craft Fairs held around Aberdeenshire, Scotland, where I do book signing and selling sessions. I love having conversations with customers and browsers who are interested in my historical Roman Scotland era, or fabulous cities that I’ve written into my contemporary mysteries. Another result of those Craft Fairs is that I get a lot of bookings to give author talks to various groups around Aberdeenshire. Some large groups like a formal Roman Scotland presentation and other small book groups etc prefer me to chat about my books.

  • Can you walk past a bookstore without going inside?

Never now and never could. My only problem is when I’m in front of a bookstore which isn’t prepared to stock books by indie authors. I’m saddened by that.

  • What are you most proud of?

I should say aspects of writing success, as when my mystery/ thriller Topaz Eyes was a Finalist in The People’s Book Prize 2014 Fiction category (all genres). I attended a ‘black-tie’ Awards Dinner at the very grand Stationers’ Hall in London. Or when my time-travel historical The Taexali Game achieved Second Place in the Scottish Association of Writers competition for Best Self- published Book in 2017 (for Fiction and Non-Fiction). It was my first self-published novel. I’d paid for a professional editor, and a front cover designer, but I self-taught myself how to do the formatting, which I felt was a huge achievement. But actually I’m equally immensely proud of my two daughters and my grand-children who are all great readers and of my husband who makes me great coffee and tea. (I prefer it even more if a glass of red wine appears at my elbow in the evening!)

  • What goes through your mind when you hold your new book in your hands for the first time?

Hot-flush excitement and St. Vitas Dance, which is a nervous condition that makes you very flighty, jumping around like mad. I remember opening the package containing my very first paperback copy during my lunchtime break. I danced around the dining room table a few times, screeching like mad, but since I was still teaching at the local school I remember going back into class that afternoon having to pretend it was just another day.

  • What piece of advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Stick in there and don’t get disheartened when things don’t happen quickly. There’s no predictable timescale for getting to a published stage. Ditto on the marketing which is a huge commitment and not everyone gets that right – I definitely need to do a lot better at that.

Thank you, Nancy Jardine and Rachel’s Random Resources


About the author

Nancy Jardine writes historical fiction; time-travel historical adventure; contemporary mystery thrillers; and romantic comedy. She lives in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, where life is never quiet or boring since she regularly child minds her young grandchildren who happen to be her next-door neighbours. Her garden is often creatively managed by them, though she does all the work! Her husband is a fantastic purveyor of coffee and tea…excellent food and wine! (Restorative, of course)

A member of the Historical Novel Society; Scottish Association of Writers; Federation of Writers Scotland; Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Independent Alliance of Authors, her work has achieved finalist status in UK competitions.


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