Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Join The Coffee Pot Book Club in conversation with #HistoricalFiction author Richard Foreman #interview @RForemanAuthor @sharpebooks @cathiedunn


Historical Heroes

A Short Story Collection

by Richard Foreman

Publisher: Sharpe Books
Publication Date: February 9th, 2023
Print length: 194 Pages
Genre: Short Story Collection

'An absorbing and fun collection, covering different periods. The author knows how to deliver action, wit, twists and history with aplomb.' ~ Oliver Webb-Carter, editor of Aspects of History.

The omnibus of the three volumes of short stories - Fight or Die, The Die is Cast and Never Surrender - by the bestselling historical novelist Richard Foreman.

The collection includes, among other stories,

Sword of Rome: Gladiator.

An action-packed novella that takes you into the heart of Rome and into the crucible of gladiatorial combat. Lucious Oppius must not only fight his enemies in the arena, however. Marcus Porcius Cato warns “Caesar’s Champion” that victory inside the theatre will bring death outside of it.

Friends In High Places.

Rufus Varro, a spy in the service of Marcus Agrippa, is tasked with setting a trap. An old friend could well become a new enemy. The trap is sprung. But who will be the victim?

A Knight's Tale.

It is the eve of the First Crusade. Bohemond of Taranto is keen to recruit the veteran knight Edward Kemp to join him on the campaign. But first Kemp must survive an encounter with two Varangians.

Turpin's Dagger.

The highwayman is trying to have a quiet drink in a tavern. But someone is pretending they ride with Dick Turpin. He could well be digging a hole for himself. His grave.

Raffles: The Gentleman Thief.

How will the master criminal fare against Sherlock Holmes, legendary detective?

"It's Everybody's Fight."

Europe is at war, but Pat Hobby's current battle is to convince the British actor Nigel Chester to sign up to a career in Hollywood. The two men find an ally in each other, but how much will Pat prove to be his own worst enemy again?

Recommended for fans of Bernard Cornwell, Conn Iggulden and George Macdonald Fraser.

Praise for Richard Foreman's Books:


"Warsaw is a work of power. It has the authentic feeling that pulses from an important book. The meticulous research and psychological insights light up one of the most ghastly episodes in the history of man's inhumanity to man." Patrick Bishop.

Band of Brothers: The Complete Campaigns

'Escapism at its best... A great read that tells much about the style of war and how the individuals fought.' Michael Jecks.

Spies of Rome

"An arresting opening that leads into a thoroughly gripping story. Impressive research and understanding of the period allows Richard Foreman to move so seamlessly and effectively from historical epic to historical detective thriller. A must read for fans of Steven Saylor." Peter Tonkin, author of The Ides.

Raffles: The Complete Innings

"Classy, humorous and surprisingly touching tales of cricket, friendship and crime." The Spectator.

*Only 0.99 for a limited time!*

Free to read with #KindleUnlimited subscription.

Thank you for joining us on The Coffee Pot Book Club blog. Please make yourself comfortable. 

Before we begin, please introduce yourself.

My name is Richard Foreman, I am the author of a number of bestselling historical novel series, including Sword of Rome, Band of Brothers, Spies of Rome, Crusaders and the Dick Turpin novels. I was a publicist to various authors, including Simon Sebag-Montefiore, Kate Williams, Conn Iggulden and Charles Spencer. I am also a publisher, at Sharpe Books.

My life naturally revolves around books. There are worse fates.

Could you tell us a little about what inspired this collection of short stories?

I wanted to provide a taster menu of short works, to help profile different novels and characters. One fan described Historical Heroes as a greatest hits collection. Plenty of readers have been in touch over the years asking when I would write more stories related to x or y series. The anthology allowed me to re-visit some favourite “heroes”, or anti-heroes as they might more accurately be described, through some original stories. The initial idea was also borne from giving people something fun to read during lockdown too.

What is it about short stories that appeals to readers, in your mind? 

The simple answer may just be that they’re short, and people who have time precious schedules can dip in and out and finish a story. Short stories are often fun and pacy too, which readers like. 

There’s plenty of variety under the umbrella of short stories. For instance, my favourite short stories to read over the years have been by Chekhov and Conan Doyle. Each have their different appeal.

It often shines through, from reading short stories, how much the author enjoys writing them. Historical Heroes was certainly a pleasure to put together, so much so that I am now taking part as a judge in a short story competition for Aspects of History.

The Aspects of History Short Story Award - Aspects of History

I would encourage authors, both new and established, to enter the competition and be included in the anthology, to help promote their longer works. 

(Click on the link above to find the competition!)

Which character did you enjoy the most to write about?

That’s a good question, which I could give half a dozen answers to if asked half a dozen times. I will always be fond of Raffles, for his wit and effortless charm. I enjoyed writing about the Victorian era and including cameos of various historical figures. Lucius Oppius, from the Sword of Rome books, is an altogether different type of hero. I’ve had a number of emails over the years from soldiers, mentioning how much they like the uncompromising Roman. Rufus Varro, from the Spies of Rome series, is a reluctant hero – but an engaging one nonetheless. Dick Turpin is a composite of fact and faction – husband and highwayman. I always enjoy writing about anti-heroes. As for Pat Hobby, I wrote the stories some time ago but they may be the funniest things I’ve ever produced.

If I had to nail my colours to the mast I’d say Rufus Varro, partly as I was pleased with his story arc across the three novels. But if you asked me again tomorrow, who knows?     

Could you tell us a little about your next writing project?

I’m currently writing a spy thriller. The plan is to complete a couple of other short story collections (featuring Rufus Varro and Dick Turpin) by the end of the year. I may then begin a series about the Black Prince.

It’s important to keep busy. There are worse fates.

Thank you for your time.

Richard Foreman

Richard Foreman is the bestselling author of numerous historical series set during the Roman Republic and Roman Empire, including the Augustus Caesar books, Sword of Empire and Sword of Rome. He is also the author of Warsaw, Crusaders, Raffles: The Complete Innings and Band of Brothers, a series charting the story of Henry V and the Agincourt campaign. He lives in London.

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