The Crime Writer’s Accomplice

Jan Newton, author, significantly, of Rather To Be Pitied, writes about the joys(?) of being married to a crime writer. He doesn’t complain, well not about the writing at any rate. To be fair, he doesn’t complain about very much at all, not even the housework, or rather the abject lack of it. He puts up stoically with the fact that we can completely run out of food and that it takes me a minute or two, once I’ve reached a juncture when I can be disturbed from my scribblings, to realise that I’m not actually in a siege situation in the middle of Manchester, and it’s well past teatime. Mervyn has always been completely supportive of whatever I’ve wanted to do. He’s learned to tolerate the aged horse (who, he says, tries to bite him when he brings her in). He’s been heard (but denies) having long conversations with my pygmy goat, and he’s even sat through, or possibly slept through,...
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Crime Cymru twinned with Canada

The Welsh Dragon has been enthusiastically waving a maple leaf recently. After serving as toastmaster at Left Coast Crime, Welsh/Canadian author Cathy Ace has been awarded the IPPY Bronze Medal for best regional E-book fiction, for her latest thriller, The Wrong Boy. Conducted annually, the Independent Publisher Book Awards honour the year's best independently published titles from around the world. The awards are intended to bring increased recognition to the thousands of exemplary independent, university, and self-published books released each year. Cathy says “The Wrong Boy is set in Wales, so I am especially pleased to receive an award which recognizes the fact that the book reflects a specific region. Entries were considered across all types of fiction, from around the world.” And Cathy has been profiled in this month’s The Big Thrill, talking about The Wrong Boy. A slight error in it: Cathy attended University College Cardiff, not Cambridge – but close enough. *** And for more transatlantic news, we have been joined by Canadian...
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Domestic Crime #1: Family Affairs

Here's the first in an occasional series on Domestic Crime, the story of Harold Greenwood revealed by Judith Barrow. “You never know what someone is dealing with behind closed doors. You only know what you see or what you think you see…” Quote from Mackenzie Phillips, daughter of John Phillips, the guitarist for the Mamas & the Papas in the late 1960s and early 1970s. That nobody knows what happens behind closed doors may be a cliché but there is a whole wealth of truth behind the trite words. Secrets – family secrets– can range from the trivial to the unthinkable; from minor transgressions to … murder. Sometimes the secrets kept within a family are ultimately revealed, sometimes they stay hidden. Sometimes the whole truth is never known. Take the case of Harold Greenwood, a young solicitor who moved his practice from Yorkshire to Llanelli in 1898 having bought a house in Kidwelly, in Carmarthenshire, with his wife Mabel. Over the years they...
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Book Launch: Rather to be Pitied, by Jan Newton

Jan Newton writes about her second book launch, which took place in Builth Wells on March 15th. Two years ago, the publication by Honno of my first novel, Remember No More, was an absolutely amazing experience. From seeing the book with its beautiful cover for the very first time, to its unforgettable launch in Builth Wells, was a massive whirl of emotions. There was apprehension - would people come to the launch, and then would they like the book? There was amazement that so many people did come, and gratitude for a fanfare from the brass band I play in, for surprise cake and wonderful flowers, and that people laughed in all the right places at what I had to say at my first engagement as an author. In the weeks and months that followed, I was completely bowled over by the fantastic response. People from all over the UK and beyond, took the trouble to write reviews or send e-mails and...
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Alis Hawkins’ indie Bookshop tour

Crime Cymru founder member and current chair, Alis Hawkins, talks about her upcoming publicity venture #IndyBookTourCymru2019. If you’re going to make a success of a historical crime series set in a very specific geographical area, it makes sense to make sure that the people in that area know about it. So, having launched None So Blind, the first in the Teifi Valley Coroner series in St Dogmaels in 2017, it seemed like a good idea to try and organise a book tour of west Wales to launch the second book in the series, In Two Minds, in the summer of 2019. But, as I started to plan, a bigger idea presented itself. Why not do a book tour of the whole of Wales? As far as the internet could tell me, nobody’d ever tried to visit every single independent bookshop in Wales* in one go before. And so #IndyBookTourCymru2019 was born. In consultation with my publishers, The Dome Press, I decided that the tour...
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Criminally Good Fun: Left Coast Crime 2019

Our Cathy Ace has just been acting as toastmaster (mistress?) at the prestigious 2019 Left Coast Crime Festival, Whale of a Crime, in Vancouver. Here is her report. Hello there, Cathy Ace here. I was born and raised in Swansea, attended UC Cardiff, worked in London, around Europe and North America for twenty years, then migrated to…British Columbia, Canada! I’ve been here now for almost twenty years – though my mum and sister are still in Swansea, and I’m also married to a Swansea Jack. Although I’ve always written for a living (working in marketing communications, brand building and PR) my crime writing life has all happened since I moved to Canada, so I’ve always approached it with a view that I have to get out and about to get known. As such, I travel far and wide to as many crime fan conventions as possible each year – a wonderful way to meet readers and fellow authors – and I’ve promised...
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April events

Getting this in before it risks becoming an April Fool post: here is a round-up of what Crime Cymru members are up to in April. April 3rd, Philip Gwynne Jones is exchanging Venice for Swansea, for the official launch of his new thriller The Venetian Masquerade, which will be published on April 4th. A game of blackmail and betrayal is played among the backstreets and canals of Venice . . . Philip will be in Taliesin Create at Swansea University for the launch, after which he’ll be giving a lecture to the MA creative writing students. Philip will be at Waterstone’s in Swansea to sign copies of his new book on April 5th, and on April 7th, between 4 and 6pm he’ll be interviewed on Radio Wales, on the Roy Noble show. Leslie Scase, author of Fortuna’s Deadly Shadow, is also featuring on radio. He’ll be interviewed on GTFM at 10am on April 5th. April 4th sees the publication of B E Jones’s new thriller, Wilderland. It’s...
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Launch of Fortuna’s Deadly Shadow

Congratulations to Leslie Scase on the publication of his historical crime novel. Read what he has to say about the launch. The recent launch event for Fortuna's Deadly Shadow was held in Pontypridd Museum, which was a lovely venue. As it was my first experience of a launch I didn't quite know what to expect. The audience was smaller than anticipated but it actually made for a nice friendly atmosphere. Many thanks to our new member Gaynor, for coming along to support. (We had switched the date from 29th March because of clashing with Brexit day !!! Unfortunately the new date for the launch clashed with the televised cup match of Merthyr v Pontypridd.) Matt Johnson showed his sublime skills as an interviewer, gained from his former occupation and we had a good chat afterwards over the refreshments. However, I am sure that he will agree with me that the highlight was the reading of a few passages by my editor's husband....
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Wales as a setting for crime. #1

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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A Busy Month

Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus! Happy St David’s Day! Crime Cymru has a lot to celebrate this month. Check our events page for more details. First of all, B E Jones is featured in a New Welsh Writers series in the Cardiff Review. Read her interview here. And a new novel by Leslie Scase is out today: a fast moving whodunnit set in the 1890's with the essential ingredients for Victorian crime fiction - grisly murder, gambling, music halls and brothels. All set against an authentic historical background. Fortuna’s Deadly Shadow - Pontypridd, 1893. A train crashes, and in the chaos of the disaster a killer covers the trail of a violent murder, but one of the crash victims is identified by means of a pocket watch. Two years later, Thomas Chard's arrival in town to take up his post as inspector in the burgeoning police force coincides with the grisly discovery of a body in the River Taff. Find it on Amazon. On the 20th March, you...
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