Welcome to my website – I hope you find something of interest here about me, my books, or both!
Just click on the various tabs above to find out: what I’m doing at the moment (Blog), where you might see me in the future (Events), the area where the Teifi Valley Coroner books are set (The Teifi Valley), the criminal justice system in 1850s West Wales (Getting Away with Murder) and information about my various books (Medieval Mysteries, The Teifi Valley Coroner)
And click on the Crime Cymru logo (left) to find out more about the Welsh Crime writing Collective and our books.
Thanks for visiting!
It’s relaunch week for None So Blind and my new publishers, The Dome Press, have organised a blog tour to get things off to a great start!
I hope to welcome you on one of those platforms!
Dr Noir’s Travelling Crime show, featuring Crime Cymru authors was a great success in Cardiff, Swansea and Cardigan. Dr Noir – Jacky Collins, doyenne of crime festival Newcastle Noir and the innovative Noir at the Bar – intrigued audiences in south and west Wales with her insightful questioning of the authors taking part. And even better news – Theatr Mwldan, the venue for the Cardigan event, were so impressed that they’ve asked Dr Noir and Crime Cymru to team up to put on a one-day crime fiction festival next summer! Watch this space.
Meanwhile, here’s a picture of the Cardigan panel – Michael J Malone (guest Scot), Yours truly, Matt Johnson and Gail (GB) Williams of Crime Cymru.
I’ve just put up a blog post on the Llangwm literary festival, so do head on over for a look. But here’s something to give you a flavour of the event:
On August the 10th, I’m delighted to say that I’ll be appearing at Llangwm Literary Festival on the banks of the lovely Cleddau Estuary – not a million miles from Harry and John’s Teifi Valley. Here’s what the festival programme has to say:
Alis Hawkins joins Eleanor Davies to discuss her spine-tingling thriller set at the time of the Rebecca Riots. Was Rebecca a Hoodie of yesteryear and why did Chapel-going men dress up in ladies clothes? Find out only at LlangwmLitFest.
If that whets your appetite you can book tickets here.
There have been many lovely things about being part of Welsh crime writers collective Crime Cymru since its genesis almost two years ago but the loveliest was last weekend’s Crime and Coffee Festival which was a joint Crime Cymru & Cardiff Central Library production.
As Wales’s first dedicated crime fiction festival – hard to believe! – there was a lot riding on this. Would people come to hear writers that might not, on the whole, be headline names? Would the concept of a festival at a library capture people’s imagination or put them off? Would the lovely weather persuade people to stay away and go to the beach instead?
We needn’t have worried. The festival exceeded all expectations. The crowds came, the book bloggers came and audiences were enormously engaged. Unlike more formal festivals, audience participation was actively encouraged and some of the readers of crime fiction were very lively in their contributions. It was obvious that some of the readers who belong to the library’s crime reading group are incredibly well read in the genre and highly articulate about it which made for incredibly interesting and rewarding discussions.
And it was so great to get together with other writers and listen to them speaking so passionately about what they do.
Particular highlights for me were psychiatrist Rosie Claverton and PTSD survivor Matt Johnson talking about the representation of mental health in fiction; Kath Stansfield’s skilled and fascinating interview with Chris Fowler (who writes the Bryant and May detective series); a Crime Cymru panel comprising Kath Stansfield, B.E.Jones, Sally Spedding and Cheryl Rees-Price talking about the supernatural in crime fiction and, of course (and immodestly) my own discussion with Graham H Miller about coroners – the unsung heroes of detective fiction.
But there were other lovely moments – chatting with Welsh-language authors Gareth W Williams, Geraint Evans and Jon Gower in the green room before their panel and being able to use my (very rusty) Welsh. The constantly replenished supply of tea, coffee and high-quality biscuits provided by the ever-smiling library staff for the authors. Chatting with writers who’ve become good friends through our involvement with Crime Cymru. And the smiles on the faces of library staff at the end of it all when it had been such a resounding success. They’d worked tirelessly for two days solid sorting everything from emergency power supply for almost-dead author phones to bringing in more chairs for popular sessions, live-tweeting events and taking publicity photos.
So I’d like to say a huge thank you to the Cardiff Central Library staff for all their hard work and to my fellow Crime Cymru-ers for the enthusiasm and commitment they brought to the project. All being well with library services, we get to do it all again – even better – next year!
By the way, if you didn’t click on the Crime Cymru link above, you won’t have noticed that we have a new website – check it out here!
I’m delighted to announce that Crime Cymru, the Welsh crime writing collective of which I am chair, has been working with Cardiff Central Library on a 2-day crime fiction festival. Crime Cymru authors will be appearing with some top crime fiction names on Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd of June – a fitting end to May’s Crime Reading Month.
You can read all about it and book tickets here
19th March 2018
As regular visitors here will know, in January I signed a contract for the first two novels in the Teifi Vally Coroner series with The Dome Press. But I have also been in negotiations with another publisher with respect to my medieval novels.
Last summer, almost 10 years after its initial publication, I decided that it was time to revert the rights to my first published book, Testament. PanMacmillan were no longer actively marketing the book and I was keen to see it back in print with a publisher who would help it find the audience it hadn’t quite reached – for whatever reason – first time around. Added to that, I had another medieval novel, written after Testament and before the Harry and John books, that I was keen to find a publisher for.
My ‘elevator pitch’ for this book – The Black and The White – is ‘Cormac McCarthy’s The Road meets Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr Ripley in the fourteenth century’. Not many of those about.
Now, negotiations are complete and I have just signed a contract which will see both novels published by the new and ambitious kid on the block, Sapere Books, later this year.
I am, to say the least, delighted.
22nd January 2018
I am delighted to announce that the Teifi Valley Coroner series has a new publisher, after the sad demise of Freight Boks.
I have just signed a two-book deal, with an option on Book 3 when it’s completed, with The Dome Press.
I’m absolutely delighted to have been signed by Rebecca Lloyd, The Dome Press’s publishing director, as the company is everything I could want in a publisher. Ambitious, approachable, keen to work with their authors and to develop careers not just sell books. We have a meeting of minds on the kind of books the Teifi Valley Coroner series are and we are determined that Wales will be a selling point, not a stumbling block to sales.
In terms of timeline, The Dome Press want to re-issue a beautiful new edition of None So Blind before bringing out In Two Minds, the second in the series, and as their publication schedule is full until this coming autumn, that’s when None So Blind will be re-issued. It will get a shiny new cover design and some more copy – background to the Rebecca Riots, maps and a glossary of Welsh terms. In Two Minds will then follow in spring 2019. Apologies to all those who are waiting with bated breath for the second book but it’s important to get the re-issue of the series right. The Dome Press and I are looking at the long term strategy for the Teifi Valley Coroner and the re-launch needs not to be rushed.
So, exciting times ahead.
Do pop over to The Dome Press’s website and have a look at the lovely books Tthey are already bringing out and join me on my journey with them!
Sept 27th 2017
I will be appearing with other members of Crime Cymru at Crickhowell Literary Festival on Thursday 5th October 8pm. Click here for more details and to buy tickets. And, just in case you’re interested, my latest blog is about festivals and their importance.
21st September ’17
My article on Crime Cymru is now on the Wales Arts Review website. You can see it here:
I’m really pleased that I’m going to be appearing at Cardiff Book Festival with Rosie Claverton under the Crime Cymru banner. We’ll be discussing detective duos from Holmes and Watson through Starsky and Hutch, Scott and Bailey to our own Harry and John, Jason and Amy. Tickets available from the Cardiff Book Festival website.
I’m very pleased to announce that None So Blind has been nominated for the Guardian’s Not the Booker Prize. Though there are over 150 nominees, it’s still very gratifying that, from amongst the thousands of eligible books, None So Blind has been valued sufficiently to be nominated. If you’d like more information about the prize or, more to the point, if you’ve read teh novel and would like to vote for it, you can find all the relevant details here:
Many thanks, in advance, to anybody who’s kind enough to take the trouble to vote.
BBC Radio Wales Interview 24th June.
You can hear me being interviewed about None So Blind and the Rebecca Riots here on BBC Radio Wales’s book programme, Phil The Shelf. My segment begins at 17 minutes and 54 seconds. Many thanks to Phil Rickman for the invitation.
23rd June 2017
For those of you who are hungry for information about me and my work, you can now read a Q and A session with me about None So Blind and all things writing at Col’s Criminal Library.
2nd June 2017
I am very pleased to announce that I have been asked to appear at the international crime fiction festival Bloody Scotland, this September. And even more delighted to be appearing on a panel with Shona Maclean (The Redemption of Alexander Seaton, The Seeker, and more) whom I have long admired and with Kaite Welsh, whose first novel The Wages of Sin sounds fantastically intriguing.
You can see the whole programme here, if you’re interested. Let me know if you’re going and we can meet up!