A return to fiction: Shades of Rome

My second collection of supernatural tales, Shades of Rome: Ghostly Tales of Roman Britain has just been published. The collection follows on from my first foray into short fiction, Yellow Glass and Other Ghost Stories, published in 2020. Unlike the first collection, however, all of the stories in Shades of Rome are united by a theme: namely, the archaeology of Roman Britain, whose uncanny side emerges in these tales of archaeological horror.

The collection includes a preface, ‘Britain’s Roman Uncanny’, which explores the place of Roman Britain in supernatural and weird fiction, and why this period of history exerts such a pull. The seven stories themselves are inspired by Britain’s Roman remains – long-abandoned sacred springs, disturbing curse tablets, troubling altars – as well as by our behaviour in encountering the relics of the past; both a ‘nighthawk’ (an illegal metal detectorist) and an overreaching billionaire who rebuilds a Romano-British temple suffer unexpected consequences in these stories.

I hope that these stories will bring ‘a pleasant terror’ to readers as well as bringing to life the archaeology of Roman Britain, which still has the power to fire the imagination…

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