Mastodon The Writing Desk: Guest Interview with Laurence O'Bryan, Author of The Sign of the Blood (A Dangerous Emperor, Book #1)

29 September 2020

Guest Interview with Laurence O'Bryan, Author of The Sign of the Blood (A Dangerous Emperor, Book #1)

Available on Amazon UK and Amazon US

The first Christian emperor faces ruthless enemies on his journey to power.

I'm pleased to welcome author Laurence O'Bryan to The Writing Desk:

Tell us about your latest book.

The Sign of the Blood is the first novel in my three book series, entitled A Dangerous Emperor. The last novel in the series was published in the spring of 2020. That novel is called, The Cursed City. The trilogy tells the story of the rise to power of the first Christian Roman Emperor, Constantine the Great. It features Juliana, a slave who becomes his mistress and also Fausta his patrician wife, who schemes against her with Constantine’s son by another woman.

One Amazon Verified reviewer had this to say about the first book in the series: 
“From the first scene with Juliana, the slave captive, to the final chapter, this story of Constantine’s rise to power is truly engaging. Like all Roman fiction, and especially during the later period, the research is never easy, but the author paints a truly vivid picture of life at the bottom of the social strata as well as the luxury at the top. Spite, jealousy and thoughtlessness are there in plenty, but so are comradeship, love and loyalty. As a Roman-themed writer myself, I’ve read a lot of Roman historical fiction – Simon Scarrow, Ben Kane, Ruth Downie, Douglas Jackson, Conn Iggulden, Robert Fabbri and the incomparable Lindsey Davis. This series looks set to join these as the must-reads of the imagined Roman world. Recommended.”
What is your preferred writing routine?

I like to write in the morning and aim to edit yesterday’s words count and to write another 1,500 words each day before lunch. Starting to write before doing emails is key, I have found, to getting the word count completed every day, seven days a week.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Read a lot in your genre and learn about craft from conferences, books and other writers.

What have you found to be the best way to raise awareness of your books?

Advertising online is a great way to find readers. It seems we have to pay to get seen these days. 

Tell us something unexpected you discovered during your research.

I discovered that much of what we know about Constantine is speculation. Even the most important academic works about his life are filled with educated guesses.

What was the hardest scene you remember writing?

The scenes of personal trauma are always difficult. I haven’t killed anyone or been tortured, so making the leap of imagination required to write these scenes is a challenge.

What are you planning to write next? 

I am writing a thriller series about what’s happening now, with the pandemic all around.

Laurence O’Bryan

# # #

About the Author

Laurence O’Bryan is the author of a series of novels about the life of Constantine the Great. His roots go back to a small estate deep in the Mountains of Mourne near the Silent Valley, in County Down, Northern Ireland. Laurence says, 'My research has taken me all over the world, from San Francisco to deep in the Muslim world. There are secrets everywhere. I enjoy writing about them. I hope you enjoy reading about them.' Find him on Twitter @LPOBryan


  1. What a fabulous interview! Thank you so much for hosting today's stop .

  2. Folks, I'm using this (credited to you, of course) to send to my small email list. Nice piece!


Thank you for commenting