Rhonda Roberts has recently launched a new time-travel series, published by HarperCollins Voyager in Australia. History, mythology and adventure all appear in the first instalment, Gladiatrix (released on 1st May 2009), and the second, Hoodwink, will be released in November 2009. Needless to say, Rhonda is one busy lass right now, and though she’s leaving her computer for a while (and thus won’t be able to read your comments), she’s dropped in to share some info about Gladiatrix and the Timestalker series.
As far as I know, international rights are still up for grabs. Her agent is Richard Curtis at Richard Curtis Associates, Inc.
Gladiatrix and the Timestalker Series
The Timestalker series follows the adventures of Kannon Dupree, a private investigator licensed to use the time portal operated by the National Time Administration in San Francisco. In each book Kannon visits a different exotic time and location in order to solve a mystery set in the present.
In the first instalment, Gladiatrix, Kannon must travel to ancient Rome to find out the secret to her real identity. Left for dead in the Blue Mountains when she was just a baby, Kannon discovers that an American Time Marshal, Victoria Dupree, could be her real mother. But Victoria has gone missing in ancient Rome while investigating the Hierophant, the mysterious leader of the Isis cult.
I love writing the Timestalker series. I planned it so that my detective heroine could have the maximum amount of adventure possible. I wanted to be able to send Kannon anywhere from ancient Egypt to America in the 1960s and give her mysteries to that range from the true – who really killed the last Tsar of Russia? – through to the best that I could invent. The series is set in an alternate past and present so it’s possible to have a great deal of fun playing the ‘what if’ game and then send Kannon there to check it all out.
I started writing Gladiatrix one summer when I had two weeks of vacation left and nothing much to do. I’d been looking around the bookshops for a good read and couldn’t find anything that suited, so I decided to start writing the book I wanted – a feisty heroine who solves a mystery in an exotic, faraway place. I wanted to send her to ancient Rome so then time travel became a part of the plot.
I like writing about history because in my academic life I specialised in cross-cultural analysis of knowledge systems, that is what passed for science and technology in other times and places. So I did a lot of research for Gladiatrix and then tried to make sure the story hung together and that the reader liked the characters enough to suspend disbelief and come on the adventure with them.
Gladiatrix (Timestalker, Book 1)
HarperCollins Voyager (AU: 1st May 2009)
Left for dead when she was two‚ Kannon Jarratt has no idea of her real identity. Now‚ twenty years on‚ she discovers that her mother might be US Time Marshal Victoria Dupree. Kannon travels to ancient Rome where Victoria is investigating the Hierophant‚ mysterious leader of the Isis cult. To find her mother‚ Kannon becomes a gladiatrix in the service of Domitia Crassus‚ the only person who knows the Hierophant’s identity. Unfortunately‚ all paths are leading her to an epic battle to the death in the arena…