After the huge success of Gŵyl CRIME CYMRU Festival Online events are now being posted on the Crime Cymru Festival Youtube Channel. You can see me interviewing Mari Hannah, Emma Kavanagh and Alison Layland here and Dr Noir interviewing me and Queen of Icelandic Crime, Yrsa Sigurđardottir here.
Up soon, my co-conspirator in all things Crime Cymru, Matt Johnson and me talking about why we decided Wales needed an international crime fiction festival and the final panel of Gŵyl CRIME CYMRU FestivalOnline at which I had the privilege of interviewing MW Craven and Imran Mahmood.
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of being interviewed on the Lynn Bowles show on BBC Radio Wales. For the next fortnight or so you can listen to the show again and hear what I had to say about my most recent Teifi Valley Coroner book, Those Who Know, and Gwyl CRIME CYMRU’s online festival. My segment begins at 16 minutes and 15 seconds.
At Crime Cymru‘s online festival next month, I’ll be appearing with some of my favourite authors including MW Craven, Mari Hannah, Emma Kavanagh, Imran Mahmood and Queen of Icelandic crime herself, Yrsa Sigurđardottir!!
You can find out more about the events I’ll be appearing at by going to the programme page on our website.
Do come and join us – tickets are free!
Had the great pleasure, last week, of being interviewed on Spice FM for their Crime Fiction Addiction slot. Here’s the podcast version of the interview. Enjoy!
Lovely review of Those Who Know, here from Nation.Cymru.
On Thursday 22nd October I’ll be attending this year’s Crime Writers’ Association daggers award ceremony as In Two Minds is shortlisted for the Sapere Historical Crime award.
This year, because the event is (of necessity) virtual and is being live-streamed, the CWA is offering the public the chance to attend. If you’d like to book a (free) ticket to watch the ceremony, click here. But hurry, only limited numbers are being made available!
I’m on Youtube! Click here to see my interview with Dr Noir for Newcastle Noir’s The Doctor Will See You now.
If you want to know about my prowess milking cows, why my central character’s a coroner not a policeman, why politics makes an appearance in Those Who Know or why I wander around the countryside with my finger in my eye, this is the video for you!
And it’s out! You can now buy (or order) the latest Teifi Valley Coroner novel from your local independent bookshop, Waterstones or Amazon – but I’d prefer it if you went down the indy route – we need our bookshops!
Online Book Launch!
On Wednesday 23rd September I’ll be launching the third in the Teifi Valley Coroner series – Those Who Know – online, with the lovely Bookish bookshop and book blogger Tomeswithtea
Tickets – with and without the book – are available here.
The second in the Teifi Valley Coroner series, In Two Minds, has just been shortlisted for the Crime Writers’ Association historical dagger 2020, alongside Philip Kerr’s Metropolis, S G MacLean’s The Bear Pit, Abir Mukherjee’s Death in the East, Alex Reeve’s The Alchemist and Ovidia Yu’s The Paper Bark Tree Mystery.
To say I’m excited, thrilled and honoured by this is an understatement.
AN OFFER TO BOOK GROUPS!
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of speaking to a local book group via Zoom and it made me realise how much I’m missing people contact at the moment. In normal times I’m out and about two days a week for the NAS seeing families in Monmouthshire as well as seeing friends and family.
Zoom isn’t quite the same, I know, but it is a way of getting at least some people contact – and lots of you may be feeling the same, particularly if you’re still working from home.
So, if you belong to a book/reading group (or any other kind of group) and you’d like to meet up with me for a chat about my books via Zoom, send me a message either via Facebook messenger, or the contact page on my website and we can fix something up!
If you need to see me in action on Zoom before you commit your friends to welcoming me into their living rooms, you can watch me with some of my Crime Cymru pals doing a session at this year’s virtual Newcastle Noir crime fiction festival here. I’m not quite as humourous by myself, but I generally manage to raise a laugh or two!
It’s #IndieBookshopWeek this week and, as I won’t be doing the bookshop events I had planned, I thought I’d doing something online instead.
So I’ll be introducing you to videos made to highlight the work of crime fiction authors – both best-sellers and less well known but brilliant authors. Pop over to my blog – tab above – to see each day’s recommendation.
And don’t forget – your bookshops need you!
I’m absolutely thrilled that In Two Minds, the second in the Teifi Valley Coroner series has been longlisted for this year’s Crime Writers’ Association Historical Dagger. Since the daggers are to UK crime writers what the BAFTAs are to actors, this is kind of a big deal for me. To find myself in the kind of company on this list is just wonderful. I feel I’ve finally arrived as a historical crime writer!
Newcastle Noir 2020 may have been cancelled in the real world because of Covid 19 but, nothing daunted, it went virtual. Here you can see the Crime Cymru panel – Katherine Stansfield, Chris Lloyd, Cal Smyth and myself being interviewed by book blogger Amy-Louise Williams, aka Tomes with Tea.
This was a lof of fun and if you want to hear secrets we haven’t shared on social media, what our favourite lines from our books are and what fictional character we’d like to be for the day – amongst lots of other Welsh crime-fic chat – click on the picture above.
The third novel in the Teifi Valley Coroner series – Those Who Know – is now available on Kindle here. Because of the Covid 19 crisis, the paperback release date has been pushed back to September 24th but you can preorder it from Amazon or – if you’d be so kind – from your local independent bookshop as indies really support authors.
To celebrate the launch of the book I held an online launch on Facebook Live with my son, Rob, interviewing me.
You can watch a recording of the live interview on my author page here.
Interview with Historia magazine
If you’d like to know:
- what it’s like having a book published during lockdown,
- why there aren’t many novels set in Wales,
- which date in history I’d go back to if I had a time machine and what I’d bring back (to sumit to forensic analysis)
- and many other things…
then pop over and have a look at this interview with me in the latest issue of Historia magazine. Just click on the picture to read it!
I’m delighted to announce that I’ve just signed a contract with German publisher Dotbooks Verlag for a German version of my first published novel, Testament.
I’m so pleased to still have a tiny stake in the EU!
Because of current closures and restrictions, my publishers, The Dome Press, and I have agreed to postpone the paperback publication of Those Who Know until September the 24th, though the Kindle version will still be published on the original date of May 28th.
My latest book is out!
Despite the whole lockdown situation, I’m very excited to announce that my medieval novel The Black and the White – set during the time of the Black Death in 1349 – is now available from Amazon in paperback and ebook from publishers Sapere Books!
As it’s very different from my other books, if you’d like a preview of what the book is about, click here.
And, if you’d like to download it or order a physical copy, click here.
And please, please, stay in and stay safe!
Best wishes to you all.
A busy week for St David’s Day
On the Tuesday after St David’s Day, I had a wonderful evening in conversation with the delightful Joanna Trollope, interviewing her on her Mum and Dad launch tour for Welsh Indy Bookshop of the Year 2019, Bookish in Crickhowell…
…and then, on Wednesday, fellow Crime Cymru founder-member Matt Johnson and I appeared at the first ever Wales Week Berkshire event at the lovely Crema Coffee Shop in Binfield. Wales Week Berkshire is masterminded by the dynamo that is Nellie Williams – that’s her with me and Matt:
…and here are the lovely ladies of Crema who hosted us: Jackie, Emma and Lisa.
Many thanks to Nellie for inviting us and to the Crema crew for being such fantastically warm and welcoming hosts – it was like being at home in Wales! Huge thanks, too, to all the readers who packed the event out and were such a fantastic audience – you were great!
Appearance Radio Cymru’s Beti A’i Phobol
Delighted to say that on Sunday the 23rd of February at 12 noon my interview with Beti George will be broadcast on her iconic Radio Cymru show Beti A’i Phobol – Radio Cymru’s answer to Desert Island Discs. (Only better in my opinion as less music and more chat.) After 23rd, click here for the link.
Gwrandewch ar Beti A’i Phobol ar yr 23ain o Chwefror i glywed am fy magwraeth, fy nheulu a fy nghyrfa fel ‘burger flipper’ yn ogystal a fy ngwaith fel awdur a’n agwedd at dyfodol yr iaith. Ar ol y 23ain, cliciwch yma i wrando.
Appearing with one of my all-time favourite writers!
I am delighted to have been asked, by Bookish Bookshop in Crickhowell, to appear in conversation with one of my all-time favourite authors, Joanna Trollope. On Tuesday the 3rd of March, I will be discussing Joanna’s highly successful career with her as well as her new book Mum and Dad.
See the events tab for more details and to book tickets.
Very excited to show you this fantastic cover for my new medieval psychological thriller – The Black and The White – which is now available for pre-order on Amazon. Publication date 30th March.
For a plot teaser, pop over to my blog, here.
If you want to get it delivered on publication day on the day, click over to the page here.
Very excited to see what fans of Harry and John make of my take on the fourteenth century!
6th January 2020
Happy New Year everybody!
To celebrate a new decade, Kobo have my books on special offer throughout January! (Spoiler alert, they may have other authors’ books too…) You can buy None so Blind for a mere 99p and In Two Minds for £1.99 until the 31st of January. With more than ten hours reading time in each book – even if you’re a fast reader – that’s astonishing value! And you don’t need a Kobo reader, you can just download the app and read it on whatever internet-enabled device you have to hand…
4th December 2019
Cover Reveal for Teifi Valley Coroner #3!
Here it is, folks – the cover for the next in the Teifi Valley Coroner series which will be published next May.
It’s available to preorder from Amazon in both paperback and ebook here…
…and, if you’d like to read the plot teaser, you need to go over to Amy Williams’s blog, Tomes With Tea, here. Amy was kind enough to host the cover reveal for me and The Dome Press.
I’m super excited about Those Who Know – for those who are intrigued to know the historical hook for this one, it’s Brad Y Llyfrau Gleision – The Treachery of the Blue Books – go on, look it up, you know you want to!
November 28th – December 11th 2019
Both currently published Teifi Valley Coroner novels – None So Blind and In Two Minds – have been selected for Kobo’s Chilly Thrillers promo at £0.99 and £1.99 respectively. You don’t need a Kobo reader to take advantage of this offer – you can download the app on to any tablet, laptop or phone. So go on, start a Christmas reading list for less than the price of a large coffee!
You can find me featured as part of the #ReadySteadyBook strand where, just as in Ready Steady Cook, I share the 5 key ingredients that go into planning and writing my Teifi Valley Coroner historical crime books; and None So Blind is reviewed by Rachel here as part of her Bookshelf Spotlight feature.
But do pop on over to Rachel Read It to see what other fantastic authors are being featured as part of #Domevember.
Today, my ebook Testament briefly went stratospheric in Australia and Canada (and, a little bit, in the UK too!) It may never happen again, but I’ve had a #1 hist-fic hit. Huge thanks to Sapere Books and especially marketing suprema Caoimhe O’Brien for their huge support in making that happen.
Mezze and Mid-century Murder…
On Tuesday the 15th of September I will be appearing at an evening event in Waterstones, Aberystwyth. And it’s not just me on offer – tickets include wine and a mouth-watering mezze buffet from local restaurant Medina.
I’ll be introducing In Two Minds, the second in the Teifi Valley Coroner series and sharing the secret of why mid-nineteenth century West Wales is the perfect setting for crime novels.
Good food, good wine and great a new criminal investigation duo to discover – what’s not to like?
Tickets and more information from Waterstones, Aberystwyth, here.
It doesn’t get much better than this! These were today’s headlines on my Twitter page:
Many thanks to Matt Taylor for inviting me to interview Ann at the Chepstow Books event on Ann’s launch tour for The Long Call, the first book in her new Two Rivers series.
And to Emma Corfield Walters for including me in a similar event for Book-ish in Crickhowell the night before:
25th August – I’m delighted and thrilled to say that I’ve been asked to interview Ann Cleeves, author of the Vera and Shetland crime fiction series – both of which have made a highly successful transition to TV – on her upcoming tour.
In September Ann is launching her new book, The Long Call, the first in her new Two Rivers series set in Devon, with a tour of bookshops in South Wales and the South West. On the 9th and 10th of September she will be at Crickhowell and Chepstow respectively and I have been asked by the bookshops concerned – Book-ish and Chepstow Books – to interview her at their evening events.
As a long-time fan of Ann Cleeves, it’s a huge privilege to be asked to be part of the tour for The Long Call.
You can see the whole tour here on Ann’s website:
and, if you’d like to buy tickets for Crickhowell or Chepstow, here are the links:
On Sunday 18th August, at 1pm, I will be the guest of Waterstones in Swansea!
I’ll be telling the audience why I think mid-nineteenth century west Wales is the perfect setting for crime fiction and answering questions about the Teifi Vally Coroner series. Do come along if you’re free!
8th August 2019
Kobo, the e-reader company, have chosen two of The Dome Press’s crime books – R.C Bridgestock’s Poetic Justice and my own In Two MInds to be part of their summer 200 under £2 sale. You can now get In Two Minds for 99p here.
25th July 2019
The Crickhowell Literary Festival programme is now out and Crime Cymru and I are both featured. Crime Cymru has three panels on the first day (Saturday, 28th Sept) and a bit of a headline event, organised by yours truly, in the evening – a chance to speak to creator of hit TV series Keeping Faith, scriptwriter and novelist Matthew Hall, and two of the stars of the show, Hannah Daniel (Cerys) and Catherine Ayers (Lisa)
And, that same day, at 4pm, I’ll be in conversation with fellow historical crime novelist Anna Mazola, talking about The Differing Faces of Historical Crime. Asking the questions will book blogger extraordinarire Amy Williams of Tomes with Tea.
For more details on all these fabulous events and to buy tickets, click here.
10th July 2019
Testament is back! The Sapere edition is now available in ebook and paperback from Amazon here and the reviews are starting to come in:
‘This novel has some truly beautiful and touching prose passages, and the dialogues are masterfully written. ‘
‘I particularly enjoyed the how the stories from the two time periods were blended together and details revealed in each time period helped to advance the story in the other.’
‘Loved this, a different genre for me.’
‘A new author for me, but one I will definitely return to.’
21st May 2019
Exciting news! Testament – my first published novel – is now going to be available once more in a newly-edited format. Recently acquired by Sapere Books, if you haven’t already read Testament, you can now pre-order the book from Amazon. Click here for details. If you’d like to know more about the book before you invest your hard earned 99p, click here. Meanwhile, to whet your appetite, here’s the fab new cover.
This is a bit belated – I’ve been busy on #IndyBookTourCymru2019 – but In Two Minds is now available! Ask in your local bookshop (you may need to order it – but most bookshops can get you stock as quickly as Amazon, and free!) or, if you don’t have a local independent bookshop, buy it from Amazon by clicking on the image below:
1st May 2019
#IndyBookTourCymru2019 got off to a wonderful start in Machynlleth today. See the blog for details and pics!
TOUR OF EVERY INDEPENDENT BOOKSHOP IN WALES!
To celebrate the publication of the second in the Teifi Valley Coroner series – In Two Minds – in May and to try and contribute a bit of a Welsh flavour to National Crime Reading Month (you did know that May is National Crime Reading Month, right?) I’m taking the month to tour every independent bookshop in Wales where I will sign, do talks or run book group discussions, according to each bookshop’s preference.
For more details, click here:
And here is it, In Two Minds. Available first on the bookshop tour, then from 30th May in all good bookshops and on Amazon, where it’s available for pre-order, now.
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!