Interview with Lindsey Davis + #DebBallGiveaway of THE THIRD NERO

Today on the Debutante Ball, I’m excited to welcome Lindsey Davis, the author of over thirty novels. Her latest, THE THIRD NERO, is out on St. Martin’s Press.

I have been a huge Lindsey Davis fan for many years, long before I embarked upon my own foray into the world of ancient Rome. Some of her most loved novels are those about Marcus Didius Falco, an ancient Roman “private-eye.” She has a knack for threading the concepts and techniques of modern crime novels into a meticulously researched ancient world. Her books and her success have been a big inspiration to me as a writer. Her latest novel, THE THIRD NERO, is from her spin-off Flavia Albia series…Falco’s daughter extending his incredible mystery-busting legacy.

In 90 A.D., following the Saturninus revolt in Germany, the Emperor Domitian has become more paranoid about traitors and dissenters around him. This leads to several senators and even provincial governors facing charges and being executed for supposed crimes of conspiracy and insulting the emperor. Wanting to root out all the supports of Saturninus from the Senate, one of Domitian’s men offers to hire Flavia Alba to do some intelligence work.

Flavia Alba, daughter and chip off the old block of Marcus Didius Falco, would rather avoid any and all court intrigue, thank you very much. But she’s in a bit of a bind. Her wedding is fast approaching, her fiancé is still recovering—slowly—from being hit by a lightning bolt, and she’s the sole support of their household. So with more than a few reservations, she agrees to “investigate.”

Adding to the confusion is yet another Nero pretender has shown up in Parthia and is trying to rally support for his claim for the throne. With intrigue upon intrigue swirling around the capital city, it’s up to Albia to uncover what is—and isn’t—the real threat.

If you want to win a copy of THE THIRD NERO, simply retweet on twitter: 

And you can enter by sharing our post from Facebook. We will select and contact the very lucky winner on Friday, July 14 at noon (US Only).

Now, on to the interview!

Which talent do you wish you had?

Ice skating. Ice dance in particular – the skill, the strength, the beauty, the costumes, the music, the chance of fame and fortune… (!)

If you were a drink (preferably alcoholic), what would you be and why?

Gin and tonic. Strong, acerbic not sickly sweet, stops sea-sickness, fends off malaria, makes you happy, makes you cry.

What is your advice for aspiring writers?

In one word: finish. You will never become a writer unless you complete, and when you have finished, you have to sit right down and start another. I have written a book a year, plus other things, for 30 years and they didn’t get done by just by woolly hopes.

Other advice would be learn how to edit your own stuff. You have to take responsibility and nobody else can polish your work.

Also, pardon me but don’t think of asking successful writers how they do it, because every person is different. My way won’t be your way – no really, I know it won’t.  If my way was your way you wouldn’t dream of asking me how to do it, for one thing! You would be too sure of yourself and too shy of me.

Have you ever tried writing in a different genre? How did that turn out?

Yes, and it was published. I enjoyed a change of style, third person instead of first, different perspectives, a new period; I enjoyed researching modern history instead of ancient. Readers were very resistant, because readers only think they want what they know. (This even applied to writing a new series very similar to the first) Fortunately I had malleable publishers and with time my other work is being recognised, often with huge enthusiasm.

What are the hardest and easiest things about your job?

Getting up in the morning (hard) and lavishing hours of care on my enormously elaborate ‘to do’ list.

Thank you for joining us, Lindsey! And congratulations again on THE THIRD NERO!

Lindsey Davis is best known for Roman detective, Marcus Didius Falco and new series about his adopted daughter, Flavia Albia. She has also written standalones, including novels set in the English Civil War and digital download novellas.

Her books are translated and have been dramatized on BBC Radio. Her awards include the Premio Colosseo (from the city of Rome), the Barcelona International Historical Novel Prize and the Crimewriters’ Cartier Diamond Dagger for lifetime achievement.

She has been Chair of the UK Crimewriters and the UK Society of Authors.

Learn more about Lindsey and her books at:


Author: Crystal King

Crystal King is a writer, culinary enthusiast and social media expert. Her writing is fueled by a love of history and an obsession with the food, language and culture of Italy. She has taught writing, creativity and social media at Grub Street and several universities including Harvard Extension School and Boston University. Crystal received her masters in critical and creative thinking from University of Massachusetts Boston. She lives with her husband and their two cats in the Boston area.