Your feedback on The Boy Centurion

I’ve had some great personal feedback on The Boy Centurion. Interestingly, one of the most consistent comments relate to the classification of the book.

Before I even tapped out the first letter of the first book, I had already decided my audience would be ‘young adult’. I loved a good adventure story when I was young and I wanted to pitch my stories in that direction. I had, of course, read a variety of historical fiction books based on or around Ancient Rome and one of the things that struck me was their lack of suitability for a young audience.

Writing about the armies of Rome, the times and the acknowledgement of their actions, is easier, some might say, when pitched towards adults. There are certain constraints that need to be applied when writing for young people and these probably do affect aspects of the story. Is it right or reasonable to describe rape, torture, or the abuse of slaves? How far is it reasonable to go when describing warfare, pain or injuries? Yet all of these aspects and more informed the life and times of people touched by Rome’s remorseless expansion.

I think an engaging story can still be produced without the need to tap into some of the aforementioned aspects. When readers or listeners tell me my books are suitable for an adult audience, I take it as a compliment. It tells me adults have been reading my material and enjoying it. This is great. Writing a book for a young audience never precludes adults. The number of Harry Potter books sold, vastly outstrips the young audience it was written for.

I think many of us appreciate an exciting book that doesn’t tax us emotionally. We’re all aware of how the world works and we don’t always need it fed to us via fiction.

So, thank you for your kind words. I’ve taken a few moments to jot down these musings before I press on with the third book in the series. Whether this will be the last depends on any number of factors. So, I guess we’ll all have to watch this space!