Q&A with Chris Lloyd – About His Influences and Books

Q&A with Chris Lloyd – About His Influences and Books

Every week we feature a Q&A with one of our Crime Cymru authors so that they can tell us a little bit about themselves. This week, Chris Lloyd talks about his influences and his books. Give us a brief introduction to you. I was born in an ambulance and my first cot was an old suitcase, which I think explains a lot. Then we went to live in West Africa before my parents decided it was time to come home to Wales. When it was my turn to fly the nest, I lived in France and Spain, spending over twenty years in Catalonia, before returning once again to this country. I write a crime series set in my beloved Catalonia, featuring Elisenda Domènech, a police officer with the devolved Catalan police, and I spend my daylight hours working as a freelance Catalan and Spanish translator. In the meantime, I’m also writing a new crime series set in another of my favourite cities, but...
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Q&A with B.E. Jones – inspiration

Q&A with B.E. Jones – inspiration

Every week we feature a Q&A with one of our Crime Cymru authors so they can tell us a little bit about themselves. This week, B.E. Jones talks about the inspiration behind her latest novel, Wilderness. Can you tell us about your work in progress? My latest novel, Wilderness, is due out in paperback, from Little Brown, in April (but available in e-book now). It tells the story of a dream holiday that turns deadly in the wilds of North America’s national parks. It should be the road trip of a lifetime for Liv and Will, but, shattered by the discovery of his affair, it becomes a last chance to save their marriage. Or does it? What Liv hasn't told her husband, is that she’s set him three challenges along the way, giving him three opportunities to prove he's really sorry and worthy of her forgiveness. And if he fails? Well, it's dangerous out there. There are so many ways to die...
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Q&A with Alis Hawkins – Influences

Q&A with Alis Hawkins – Influences

To wish you all a very happy 2020, we're starting a new Q&A feature, where Crime Cymru authors will be answering our questions to tell us a little bit about themselves. This week, Alis Hawkins talks about the influences that shape her writing.     Hello to all Crime Cymru followers! I hope you had an excellent Christmas and that 2020 is looking good so far. I’m really delighted to be kicking off this new series of Q&A sessions with Crime Cymru’s writers. I hope you enjoy it! Have any of your plots/characters been influenced by real life events/people? All of them! The reason I started writing the Teifi Valley Coroner series was because I wanted to write about the Rebecca Riots and, having set the first book up with such a solid historical background, I’ve carried on in the same vein. The background to In Two Minds is Welsh emigration to America but there’s quite a big dollop of the nascent science of forensic...
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Like, Love, Kill Episode 8

Each Sunday, Cal Smyth's social media thriller Like, Love, Kill is serialised via Crime Cymru. Here is the final episode... 33 As Kel steps out of the art studio, she mentally goes over her previous notes on Irina. Just in case there is anything she has missed. Is there someone who would know Irina’s contacts and would bear a grudge? A name jumps out at her: Rupert Wilkinson, former art patron of UCASS. After Irina’s art-sex video, she gained renown while he lost his position. The man just might have vengeful feelings. Kel googles Rupert Wilkinson on her phone. The most recent reference to his name is in a Gloucester Evening Post article a year earlier. The headline is: ‘Former UCASS Art Patron Vanishes.’ Kel reads the article: ‘Rupert Wilkinson, former art patron of UCASS, has been declared missing after he failed to turn up to court for divorce proceedings. His estranged wife, Camilla Wilkinson filed for divorce following a video of Mr Wilkinson having sex with...
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Like, Love, Kill Episode 7

Each Sunday, Cal Smyth's social media thriller Like, Love, Kill is serialised via Crime Cymru. Here is episode 7…   27 Kel, Caitlin, Irina and Mike are being balled out by Inspector Christie. With the four of them sitting around a desk in the library and Inspector Christie standing over them, it feels like being back in school. Each of them has had their individual statements taken down. Now, the inspector has them all together, his voiced raised as he says: ‘Do you realise how much more difficult you have just made catching the killer? I’ve now got all four of you to cross check with fingerprints at the scene. Not to mention time wasted taking statements about how you came to be in the victim’s flat and then finding out your plan might have in fact instigated the victim’s death.’ Kel understands Inspector Christie’s anger. They’ve fucked up. Or she has. Quite obviously, Toby isn’t the killer because he’s as dead as a dodo. She...
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Like, Love, Kill Episode 6

Each Sunday, Cal Smyth's social media thriller Like, Love, Kill is serialised via Crime Cymru. Here is episode 6…   22 Kel and Caitlin sit across from each other in a corner of the student union bar, Kel wanting to meet so she can run her research findings by Caitlin. The floor is sticky with spilled beer, the walls are covered with provocative murals and the place smells of bleach. Kel thinks it’s as if every Uni needs to have one grungy bar as an act of youthful rebellion. Especially on a campus like UCASS which is so meticulously designed. Kel has a JD and coke in front of her, plus a packet of crisps. Her lunch consisted of four and a half oatcakes, so her dinner is almost an upgrade. Caitlin just has an orange juice. The bar is quite empty, only two other groups of students huddled together. In keeping with the feeling of secrecy, Kel leans towards Caitlin, says: ‘You can feel the...
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Like, Love, Kill Episode 5

Each Sunday, Cal Smyth's social media thriller Like, Love, Kill is serialised via Crime Cymru. Here is episode 5…   15 It’s well into the night by the time Amy is declared dead, police have sealed off her room and statements have been taken. Inspector Christie was obviously still busy dealing with Grace’s murder, so a different DI talked to Kel and Caitlin. The two women are sitting in a lecture hall where Kel usually hears talks on criminology. It is the nearest building to Amy’s residence block so has been set up as a makeshift interview room. With the police and ambulance crew busy back at the scene, Kel and Caitlin are left alone, the two of them subdued. Kel is able to cope with seeing a dead person, but two in one day is a bit much. Caitlin says: ‘Well you were right something was wrong.’ ‘Yea, didn’t think she’d killed herself though.’ ‘We knew her history.’ ‘Self-harm is one thing. Suicide takes it to another...
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Like, Love, Kill Episode 4

Each Sunday, Cal Smyth's social media thriller Like, Love, Kill is serialised via Crime Cymru. Here is episode 4…   10 Kel and the others stand to the side as the police arrive. As soon as Kel saw Grace was dead she called Inspector Christie. Now at the scene, he gives her a strange sideways glance as he enters the café. Kel acted like a professional before the police came, didn’t let anyone else into the café. Though it was impossible to keep Grace’s murder a secret. The others all heard her on the phone say that a woman had been killed. When Caitlin asked if it was Grace, Kel nodded that it was. Amy tried to get a closer look, but Kel told her they shouldn’t contaminate the scene and barred her from going inside. Not that it stopped Amy from taking a photo through the doorway. Kel looks up at the top of the door. There is no camera. She asks Caitlin: ‘Grace didn’t...
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You’ve got to have done it: Arthur Cole

You’ve got to have done it: Arthur Cole

Arthur Cole speaks of his fascinating journey from the police to writing poetry and co-writing crime thrillers based on his wealth of experience. My literary career began late in life, in fact I didn’t write anything until January 2016. I was born and bred in a small mining village called Caerau, at the top of the Llynfi Valley, Maesteg. My father was a miner, as were most of my immediate family. I am one of six children, five brothers and one sister. I passed my 11+ in 1961 and then attended Maesteg Grammar School. I wasn’t by any stretch of the imagination academic, I was more hands on, Metalwork, Woodwork and Technical Drawing, however I did love English literature. During the last year of my schooldays, a new English Literature teacher Mr David John introduced us to the World War I poets such as Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon. Mr John actually transformed the English department. I left school at seventeen and...
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Wales as a home for crime fiction: Stephen Puleston

Wales as a home for crime fiction: Stephen Puleston

Anglesey writer Stephen Puleston argues the case for Dragon Noir to gain its place in the crime-writing hall of fame. Tartan Noir has established Scotland as a source of high-quality crime fiction with the likes of Ian Rankin, Val McDermid and Peter May [to name only three]. Indeed, there is a Wikipedia entry for Tartan Noir explaining its cultural roots and impact on the international crime writing scene. Iceland has world-renowned crime writers, as do the Scandinavian countries. Crime writing in Wales has a lot of catching up to do before ‘Dragon Noir’ has a place in the crime writing pantheon. Ian Rankin didn’t set out to be a crime writer and he believes that crime writing can hold a mirror up to contemporary society. Although we write genre fiction crime writers shouldn’t shy away from doing the same and making contemporary comment about modern Wales. When I planned my first Inspector Drake novel, I wanted to have a strong sense of place...
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