The Beltane Choice – Nancy Jardine / #Interview #BlogTour @rararesources @nansjar


AD 71 Northern Roman Britain
Lorcan of the Brigantes knows that unity of the northern tribes is essential when the Ancient Roman legions advance northwards to Brigantia. Yet, everything comes at a price. Using his captive, Nara, as a political bargain with the Selgovae comes with impossible stipulations. Battle at Whorl – Iron Age tribes against the Romans – is inevitable.

Will Nara have her Beltane choice?

The adventures of the Garrigill Clan begin…




– When and where do you prefer to write?

When – When life tasks don’t suck up my time. My week vanishes with: domestic stuff; taming my garden; regular grandchild minding with additional impromptu drop-ins since they live next door. I sign and sell my novels at local Craft Fair venues during many weekends between Feb. and Dec. and I give author talks and formal history presentations to local Aberdeenshire groups. I’m neither lark nor owl, but sometimes I write with more continuity in the mornings, or late evenings when free.

Where – My desk is situated near the window in my dining room, overlooking my presently colourful front garden.

– Do you have a certain ritual?

I adore research and do lots of it. I create a general outline and timeline for the story but I’m naturally a ‘pantser’ author so the story develops under its own momentum, with a lot of pauses for further research, if needed. When writing The Beltane Choice, Book 1 of my Celtic Fervour Series historical saga,  I aimed to create the most believable settings and character situations. Reviewers have picked out those elements in their favourable 4*& 5* reviews so that’s essentially what I continue to strive for. The story being entertaining is really important to me but so is historical accuracy for an era that’s essentially pre-historical with almost no written evidence for it. Archaeological research then becomes an essential element to use alongside the scant written information. Since I’m now working on Book 5, I have a reasonable basis of knowledge to draw from. However, if I change the geographical location – e.g. to a different Ancient Roman fort ‑ I’m likely to digress, spending time finding out specifics to give me a better image to ‘set’ my characters in.  Before I launch into new writing for the day, I read over the last few pages or section and check my general plans to get my head back into writing mode.

– Is there a drink or some food that keeps you company while you write?

My husband brings me a cup of coffee or tea mid-morning and mid-afternoon, if I’ve not stirred off my butt to make one myself.  I don’t really snack except sometimes in the late evening if I’m on a long writing binge – that’s the time I raid the cupboard for something savoury like crisps or crackers with cheese.

– What is your favourite book?

Apologies – I can never answer this question! I can’t bring myself to pick only one, since there are so many different reasons for liking a novel. I’ve enjoyed so many stories, some of them classics (Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, James Joyce, and Tolkien) though others have just been loved for something about them that’s memorable (Bard by Morgan Llywelyn). Or they’ve matched my mood when reading them and have entertained me more than usual. Often the last book I adored is my favourite, till supplanted by a new one.

– Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?

Since 2011, I’ve written and published historical adventure fiction; time travel historical; a contemporary mystery thriller and romantic comedy mysteries. I don’t plan to do anything soon other than these genres but would never rule out the possibility, if I get the urge.

– Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?

Not in my historical writing, though my contemporary mysteries include some events that mirror ‘family’ experiences. Topaz Eyes begins in Heidelberg, Germany, the main female character being a translator who has previously spent time at the University of Heidelberg. My elder daughter studied languages and spent her final degree year at Heidelberg Uni. Keira Drummond isn’t based on my daughter but her situation was ‘borrowed’.

– Do you take a notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?

Not regularly, though I tend to jot down into a notebook when at conferences etc.

– Which genre do you not like at all?

Dystopia isn’t a favourite, and I steer clear of ‘werewolf’ type fantasy , since I read a lot of that some years ago. Otherwise, I’ve read pretty much all genres in recent years, and I like the occasional chick-lit novel but they rarely have enough depth in them for me to make me want to read reams of them one after the other. I prefer full-length stories to novellas which often leave me stunned because I’ve finished them so quickly!

– If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?

What an interesting question! I truly can’t ever see me co-writing with anyone but it would need to be with someone I knew pretty well who would know the somewhat erratic way I work. I’d avoid anyone famous, since I’d want to be my own voice and not a copycat reflection of their style of writing. It would also need to be someone who had a similar historical knowledge to my own so that we could bounce off ideas fruitfully and productively, with the same sort of give-and-take attitude as I have.

– If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?

I tend to do it the other way round with my contemporary fiction and include places I’ve lived in, or visited as a tourist. Though, given the chance to do it beforehand for my historical writing, it would be Italy. I’ve been to a few Italian cities already but not Pompeii or Herculaneum – and I’d definitely spend a lot more time again in Rome. There’s so much more for me to learn about the Ancient Romans that such an opportunity would be absolutely ideal.

Thank you for the invitation to visit your blog, today!

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.


Social Media Links 

Blog:  Website:   Facebook: &


Amazon Author page




Book Link