Mastodon The Writing Desk: Special Guest Interview with Charles Edward Williams Author of The Aelian Crescent

10 December 2021

Special Guest Interview with Charles Edward Williams Author of The Aelian Crescent

Available from Amazon UK and Amazon US

A new emperor rises and steadily withdraws from the conquered eastern borders. A sinister and treasonous plot is unveiled amongst the elite members of the Senate with dire consequences. The restless emperor disciplines the border legions of Germania and Brittania and erects formidable barriers . Legate Cletus suffers a devastating personal loss.

I'm pleased to welcome author Charles Edward Williams to The Writing Desk:

Tell us about your latest book

My third novel - The Aelian Crescent - in the Vialegio Series follows on from the previous two novels - The Dacian Enigma and The Arc of Dacicus. The first two books covered the ruthless and resolute expansionary eastern frontier and Mesopotamian campaigns of Emperor Trajan. 

During this epoch, this formidable soldier Emperor expanded the Roman Empire to its greatest extent. The Aelian Crescent- focuses on the subsequent succession of his ward Emperor Hadrian- an entirely different creature - who withdrew back from the conquered frontiers and wisely adopted a far reaching commonwealth type political strategy. The story further explores the vicious rivalries against his adoption by members of the Senate, and the capricious jealousies and hellenisation of the Empire by the new forceful and ambitious Emperor.

What is your preferred writing routine?

Mornings mostly, sitting comfortably in my favourite armchair pecking away like a chicken with one finger on my IPad and using the Pages application. Some days the flow is really strong with the words
seemingly streaming out. Other days, when the words struggle to come, I use the slow time to collect my thoughts and to self edit in order to shape and further scope out the storyline.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

If a story presses within you to begin writing- then don’t ignore the innate urging of your thoughts. Commit them to writing, even if only a few paragraphs. The efforts of writing your thoughts out will lead to that wonderful moment when the dam bursts, and your story flows forth from your mind.

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

Getting a local bookstore to stock and display the novel was an initial help, as was advertising in the local newspaper. In addition, listing the new book in the National Society of Authors ‘new books’ newsletter provided a wider reach and exposure. Social media appears to assist with broader readership exposure, and to date I’ve used Twitter which has many successful authors exchanging useful and helpful information. The novels are currently listed on Amazon Kindle and on Smashwords.

Tell us something unexpected you discovered during your research

In Emperor Trajan’s case - what struck me was the unseen yet powerful role played by his wife, the dutiful Pompeia Plotina in his rule. Blessed with humility and compassion, she guided many wise decisions made by the imposing soldier Emperor for the overall well being of the population. Due to her wide ranging social works she was adored by the citizens, and her grace and eminence buttressed the popularity of the Imperial couple. 

As regards Hadrian, I was truly surprised to discover that his custodian father Trajan harboured serious doubts about him. Trajan, who was an astute judge of character seemed to dislike Hadrian.Perhaps he thought his ward Hadrian was over influenced by Greek culture. It may well have been that Trajan saw through his capricious nature early on and was wary of him. It remains a mystery, forever lost in the mists of time, as to whether Trajan named Hadrian as his successor or whether it was a subterfuge by Plotina.

What was the hardest scene you remember writing?

The death scenes are always hard. Admirable and worthy soldiers cut down in the heat of battle. Generals that command intense loyalty from their legions falling out of favour with Emperors. Death in childbirth was probably the most harrowing of all- I literally trembled with remorse as the words tumbled out.

What are you planning to write next?

The fourth book which will bookend the Vialegio Series will cover the darkening years of Hadrian’s rule. Included will be the strange and mysterious interplay between the powerful ruler and his adored youthful companion, as well as the savage prophecy unearthed in Egypt that warns of the cracks in the vast Empire.

Charles Edward Williams.

# # #

About the Author  

Charles Edward Williams lives in Dunedin, a coastal University city in the South Island of New Zealand.
Walking past the imposing Arch of Titus and down the large and uneven flagstones leading to the Forum, the author sensed the unheard voices and the untold tales of the soldiers that gave their lives in honour of the hallowed ground. An abiding interest in the first two centuries CE of the early Roman Empire led to the author to relate a soldiers tale. The authors aim is to provide the reader with an enjoyable holiday read and to enable them to share the thoughts and dreams of this remarkable period through the eyes and thoughts of a soldier serving in the Legion. Find out more at his website
and find him on Twitter: @LegioVia


  1. Charles Williams has gifted a brilliant series of captivating books to anyone seeking entertaining and easy reading. It's phenomenal to gain insights into the author's behind the scenes perspectives and personal life. His books are a trilogy of inspirational reading. I look forward to the developing story from this author.

  2. This sudden emergence of talent does not surprise me, given the eloquence of Charles’ speech as best man at my wedding in Johannesburg 49 years ago!


Thank you for commenting