Wales as a setting #4 – Dylan H Jones

Dylan H Jones writes about Anglesey, Ynys Mon, the island that inspired his Tudor Manx mysteries. Anglesey: An Isle of Inspiration I was attending my father’s funeral on a typically cold and rainy Anglesey day in November that the thought hit me. How, as a writer, the boundaries between real life and fiction become blurred, especially when I’m writing about a place so close to my heart; a place I still call home even though I now live several thousand miles away. I’d written a funeral scene in my first book, Anglesey Blue, which took place on a similar windswept day. There were some details I’d got right; how the low clouds can press the day into shadow and blunt the peaks of the Snowdonia mountain range; how the wind rattling the chapel door can feel like death itself demanding to enter; how the rise and fall of a hundred Welsh voices singing Calon Lan can still create a fist-sized knot in my...
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Wales as a Setting #3 – Eamonn Griffin

Eamonn Griffin explains why Wales is so well suited to dastardly deeds. It’s a good place for a killing, Wales. And not only because the country’s got more than its fair share of forests, ravines, abandoned mines, quarries and old factory sites, not to mention desolate beaches, that make excellent potential sites for a body dump, neither. Though the country has all of these and more. No. Part of the reason why Wales can offer excellent settings is in its diversity of Welshness. Rural locations? Check. Cities? Yep. Affluent communities? Yes. Run-down towns? Absolutely. Touristy ruggedness? No shortage. Concrete post-industrial hellscapes? There’s one or two. Wales offers a bit of everything, and often in close proximity. We’re used in fiction to the usual settings. London, perhaps inevitably, figures large. Ditto other major cities associated with different detectives: the Edinburgh of John Rebus, Harry Bosch’s LA. Wales, though, is comparatively under-used. Cardiff-based folk will chuckle at the ways that Doctor Who recycles the same...
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Wales as a setting #2 – Rosie Claverton

Rosie Claverton, author of the Amy Lane Mysteries, talks about using Wales as a setting for a series. Working on Book #6 of the Amy Lane Mysteries, I sometimes wonder if I am running out of ideas – particularly for how to turn beautiful, exciting places into the ideal location for murder. Binary Witness was my first novel and, between introducing my agoraphobic hacker and streetwise ex-con to the world, I was trying to turn my favourite city of Cardiff into something desperate and sinister. I used Jason’s love for his home town to communicate my own passions for the city, even if my fictional version has a much higher murder rate. The second novel expanded to include Swansea – or, more accurately, HMP Swansea. I also took a detour through the countryside between Bridgend and Cardiff, though not a route ideal for a little light rambling. It was cold and wet and miserable, which is about as far away from a Visit...
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Wales as a setting #1 – Cheryl Rees Price

This is the first in an occasional series on Wales as a setting for crime fiction. Cheryl Rees-Price writes about the inspiration of her locality for the settings of her books. When writing the first book in the DI Winter Meadows series I could think of no better place to set the book than Wales. A place with bleak landscapes, dark brooding skies, and small close-knit communities. I guess it’s not so different from the settings found in popular Scandi crime fiction. I grew up in the Amman valley, so I know the area well. Although I base the location of my books on this area I have changed the names of the villages. Firstly, because I did not want to cause offence by using a well-known building or area as a scene of crime, secondly, I could unwittingly ignite some gossip, particularly as there are some colourful characters where I live, and lastly, it gave me more scope when writing, I can...
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