Before becoming a novelist, Nick Brown worked as a teacher of both English and history. Book six in the Agent of Rome series, The Earthly Gods, was published in 2016 and is out now in paperback. (You can win a copy in our March Giveaway!) Nick is currently working on various projects including the seventh Agent of Rome novel and several screenplays.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Going on a nice holiday to an interesting place with my wife. Or selling a novel or screenplay for an enormous sum!
When did you last cry and why?
Probably because of a film or an advert showing animals in peril.
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
I’m not sure there’s one in particular I identify with but I admire all the peaceful politicians of the Weimar period; they did their best to resist the destructive forces in their midst.
Which living person do you most admire?
That’s a tough one. In the creative field probably director James Cameron – his films have meant a tremendous amount to me since I was young and he possesses an outrageous set of skills.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
I really lacked ambition, to be honest. I was hoping for nothing too stressful where I had time to think – looking back, teaching might have been a mistake.
What’s the worst job you’ve done?
I once had a job in a factory with my friend Neil. A shipment of apples had been packed the wrong way up and for two weeks we had to unpack the boxes and re-pack them correctly. If we hadn’t been there to keep each other entertained, the psychological damage could have been irreparable.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Getting the Agent of Rome books published and delivering a series that has been enjoyed by readers.
Where is your favourite historical place?
I like any site with ancient historical buildings or remains; having something tangible in front of you makes it so much easier to imagine the past.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Earl Grey – once you’re hooked, all other teas taste inferior!
Which book changed your life?
I would have to say Lord of the Rings – it really fired my imagination as a youngster. It contains so many great characters and scenes; and how many authors have created an entire genre?
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
What is your greatest regret?
I don’t have many, to be honest – I’m quite philosophical about the past. Ideally I would have pursued writing more aggressively and from an earlier age.
What would your superpower be?
The ability to manipulate every single agent, editor, producer and director in the world.
Who would play you in a film of your life?
A young Bruce Willis.
If you could go back in time, where would you go?
It would have to be Judea, circa 33 A.D. I really would just like to know.
What is your most embarrassing moment?
So many choices. Probably the time I was teaching and stuck my foot in a paper-filled bin to make space. When I tried to walk away, the bin came with me. It flew off my foot, struck a desk and showered my year 7 tutor group with paper.
What is your most treasured possession?
My wife and brother both had the lovely idea of getting me a Roman coin issued in the period I write about.
Which musicians are currently on your playlist?
Hinds, Run the Jewels, Kyuss, Dinosaur Jr.
What is your motto?
See above – ‘Fair enough.’
Joe Abercrombie’s Half the World – brilliant as always.
Who is your favourite fictional character?
What is top of your bucket list?
Tell us something not many people know about you.
I’m a vegetarian and have been since I was ten.