Graham Clews- Author of Eboracvm- The Village, Eboracvm- The Fortress, Eboracvm-Carved in Stone, Jessica Jones and the Gates of Penseron
About the Author
Graham wrote his first novel, a World War II adventure story with a humorous slant, titled Don’t Budge, in 1980. The manuscript was submitted to the Alberta Search for a Novelist contest, and tied for first place against approximately fifty submissions. Doubleday Canada displayed interest and Graham met with two editors, who asked for a partial revision of the manuscript. After holding the novel for approximately a year and a half, Doubleday returned the manuscript with a letter explaining that it had been “bumped” by an author called Donald Jack. The episode was a ‘learning experience’, the principal one being a comment by one of the editors, a charming lady named Susan Dunlop. When offering words of encouragement, Susan said, “Graham, we would publish this tomorrow if you were someone!”
Somewhat discouraged, Graham hardly wrote at all over the next twenty years, and got on with his mid-life crisis: this involved politics, tough business investments and rejoining the Canadian Army Reserve at age forty five. To be blunt, he gave up on the publishing industry. However, he did submit a story to CBC radio that was selected for broadcast, won a humour award from the Edmonton Journal, and a prize for poetry.
At fifty five, Graham retired from the Army Reserve and with more time on his hands, decided to get serious about writing. In 2006 he published a middle grade fantasy novel titled Jessica Jones and the Gates of Penseron, which was evaluated, professionally edited, and kid-tested on a grade seven class in the Greater Vancouver area of British Columbia, where it was very well received. The book revolves around the changing world of Penseron, where mind matters more than matter, and time is merely a destination. The central character is a little person, Jessica Jones, who is lured to Penseron with her unwilling brother Jake, in order to solve—among other problems—the sudden disappearance of her ancient, first century look-alike. The book won the Edmonton BookAdz best novel of 2006 award.
In early 2007 Graham published Eboracvm, The Village, an novel based on the founding of the English City of York (Eboracvm) by the Romans in AD 71. This novel won the Premier Book Awards best historic novel of 2007/8. A second edition was updated on completion of the final book in the Eboracvm Trilogy in 2010, and it was re-copyrighted at that time.
In December, 2008, Eboracvm, The Fortress, was published. This was the second of the Eboracvm trilogy, and won the Premier Book Awards best historic novel of 2008/9. As with The Village, in 2010 it was updated on publication of the final book in the trilogy, Eboracvm, Carved in Stone.
The Eboracvm trilogy spans the thirty five year period from the expulsion of the Celtic villagers inhabiting the York site, to the building of the fortress in stone. The story is told through the eyes of three generations of Roman and Celtic families whose fate, over this period, grew indelibly intertwined. As an historic novel it is unique, in that there are no evil villains or extremely daring heroes. The characters are people such ourselves with all our strengths and failures, sometimes tragic and sometimes darkly humorous, and always with a practical realism that evolves when people are forced into situations that are often beyond their control. The three books have been extremely well received, often surprisingly so. When Graham finished the first novel in the series, he thought it would be a male read. The female readership has been equally overwhelming. Perhaps it is because the women in the novels often have their blades honed a tad sharper than their men…
Graham is currently involved in writing several commercial articles that stem from his career as a chartered accountant. He is also charting out a novel with a tentative title of Diaspora, The Temple. The book focuses upon the Judaea-Rome conflict of 66 A.D., ending in the destruction of the Jerusalem temple in 70 A.D. Written in a vein similar vein to Eboracvm, the conflicting perspective will be threefold: primarily it will be that of the Romans and the Jews; it will also introduce the perspective of those Jews who believed the teachings of the man known as Jesus would return Judaea to its ‘rightful’ place in the Mediterranean world. An assortment of characters such as we might find today will be the reluctant heroes and the slightly tarnished villains. As in Eboracvm, their actions will sometimes include the snafus and inadvertent triumphs that we all encounter, along with a good lacing of hard romance and dark humour…
Front Row Lit- http://frontrowlit.com/?p=3200
Interview in the Arts and Entertainment Magazine
Born in York, England, in 1942, Graham emigrated to Canada in 1956 with his family and met his wife Marie in high school. They have been married for forty-eight years, and have three children.
Graham articled in Edmonton with one of the root firms of KPMG, and obtained the professional designation of Chartered Accountant in 1966. His professional career spanned more than forty years. During the first four years he worked in industry, employed by corporations rather than a public accounting office. He held financial management positions in the chemical industry in Edmonton and Montreal (Chemcell Limited), and the aviation and plastics industry (Northwest Industries Ltd.). A desire to live in the country moved Graham and Marie to Westlock in 1971, and he returned to public accounting. In January of 2009, he retired as senior partner of the firm Clews, Shoemaker, Viney and Friesen.
Graham and Marie also operated a farm in the Westlock area, small by Alberta standards: a cow/calf operation with about sixty cows. Over the years, he has also operated a home manufacturing plant, building log homes in some of the remotest parts of Alberta, and served as co-chairman of a publicly traded gold company (after a bitter proxy fight). He served seventeen years with the Canadian Armed Forces Reserve, retiring as a captain on reaching the age of fifty-five. Graham has been quite active in the community, serving on the Ski Board, the Library Board, the Drama Society, the Scholarship Board, the Cultural Arts Board, and as a cub master in the Boy Scouts of Canada. He has also served as president of the local Provincial Progressive Conservative Association, the Army Cadet League of Alberta (also on the national board of governors), and the Rotary Club of Westlock. Memberships past and/or present include the Rotary Club, the Edmonton Branch of the Winston Churchill Society, Westlock Independence Network (for the disabled), and Mensa Canada.
About the Books
|Eboracvm, The VillageAn historic action novel, with a romantic twist (book I)
It has been said that the history of York is the history of England. And like most of the recorded history of England, York’s ‘annals’ began with the arrival of the Romans. Not with the invasion under Claudius in 43 A.D., when they finally came to stay, but almost thirty years later, in 71 A.D…
|Eboracvm, The Fortress
Sequel to ‘Eboracvm, The Village’ (book II)The Fortress is the second book in the Eboracvm series, and follows events that lead to the final subjugation of Brigantia. In Eboracvm, The Village, Governor Petilius Cerialis began the process of domination in 71 A.D., culminating in the battle at Stannick (Stanwick). When he returned to Rome in 74 A.D., he left the fortress at Eboracum complete, and the Ninth Hispana Legion in garrison there, and at several other forts scattered about Brigante territory. He did not, however, leave a land that was at peace…
Summary | Excerpts
|Eboracvm, Carved in StoneThe final book in the Eboracvm trilogy (book III)
A new century dawns, and Rome’s frontiers are again in turmoil. The year is A.D. 105. The emperor Trajan is calling in troops from around the empire to secure Dacia’s rich mines of iron, copper and gold. Britannia’s forts are left under strength and the north is once more in flames as the tribesmen sense weakness in Rome’s armies. The Ninth Legion, based at Eboracvm, must once more bear the brunt of the rebellion when, as the aging Cethen Lamb-fada observed, They’re having another damned go at it!
|Jessica Jones & the Gates of PenseronA novel for young teens; a timeless adventure in time
Follow Jessica into Penseron, a strange, magic-like world (but definitely not magical), where the mind matters, and time matters not at all. For Penseron is in trouble: people are missing, treasures are being stolen, and worst of all, the strange world itself is quaking as if threatening to destroy itself…