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About the Author

I was lucky enough to be born in the West Country, in beautiful North Devon. Some people know from a very early age that they are going to be writers: I wasn’t one of them. I fear this will upset some readers, but I left university with an English degree and no greater ambition than to get married and live happily ever after. Perhaps it was all that Jane Austen.

Ruth DownieEven in those days, being a wife was not a full-time career. Some of my earliest ventures into creative writing were attempts to type up my indecipherable shorthand in such a way that the boss wouldn’t suspect that he hadn’t really said it. As secretaries were replaced with computers, and my higher-flying contemporaries discovered to their horror that they were expected to type their own letters, there were fewer and fewer outlets for creativity in the office. Finally I took the plunge and started writing my own stuff.

At this point I was working for a company that needed scripts written, and they were brave enough to give the office staff a shot at doing it. (They once needed kitchen appliances scavenged from the local tip to use on a film shoot, and kindly gave us the chance to do that, too.) Thanks, Pace Productions!

I am blessed with a husband, two grown-up sons, a cat, and a garden with potential. When I’m not researching and writing the Ruso novels  I spend the occasional joyous week grovelling in mud with an archaeological trowel.

To find out how I became hooked on the Romans, check out The History Times website. For some musings about creating historical novels,  slip across to The Crafty Writer, a site full of useful tips for writers of all kinds. Here’s a link  to a discussion with Harry Sidebottom, author of the bestselling ‘Warrior of Rome’ series.

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