The End and the Beginning – Leslie Scase

This week’s blog marks the end of our ‘circuit’ of blogs from the members of Crime Cymru. We’ve had some fascinating insights to the backgrounds and personalities of our members and insightful excerpts from their latest novels which I hope you’ve found entertaining. Next week we’ll start a new ’round’ with some new topic categories. As for today, – well, we’ve had an unscheduled gap so I’ve stepped into the breach with some general musings which I hope you find interesting.

Two rather random things came to mind when I was thinking what to write, but both are quite interesting and relevant. They both happened in the last couple of days, one is quite serious in my opinion and the other is well……rather frivolous.

I had the good fortune to attend a Q&A with a very successful writer. Not a crime writer I hasten to add; and I’m not going to give his/her name. The stories of how they got into writing many years ago were interesting, as were the accounts of the periods of rejection, before and after having gained high profile awards. However, the one thing that stuck with me was their attitude to their work. I can say in all honesty that every crime writer who I’ve got to know, has had a clear vocation for writing. So has every aspiring writer that I’ve met in other writers’ groups. Perhaps it made a difference that the person in question relied on writing as their sole source of income, but they made it very clear, that they saw the work solely as a job. It seemed to be something that had to be overcome which could be looked back on afterwards, but which wasn’t enjoyable to do. I found it quite remarkable. I know money can be a great motivator, but I don’t think I would write if I didn’t enjoy it. Perhaps success needs to be re-evaluated sometimes.

Now, let’s move on to something lighter, which happened the following day. At some point in the past I wrote a blog (it might have been here or somewhere else) about the use of language in historical novels and how usage can change. In my next novel there will be odd idioms here and there from Wales, Shropshire and Birmingham (not too many or it would be unreadable). It made me think about any terms used in my childhood that aren’t around now. One of them used as a declaration of immunity (which I still use when I want to get out of the washing up) is “I’ve got cree”; which always results in a lack of credence. Over the years I’ve wondered if I’ve planted a “false memory”. Did such a term ever exist? Sadly none of my friends seem to remember it. I’m delighted to say that my highlight of the week was finding this entry in the Collins online dictionary :-

(kriː ) noun. South Wales and Southwest England dialect. temporary immunity from the rules of a game: said by children.

Now if only I can find a reference to “nip cart run”…….

Leslie Scase is the Shropshire-based author of  the Inspector Chard Mysteries, crime thrillers set in the heyday of Victorian Britain. The first novel Fortuna’s Deadly Shadow was published in 2020. The second, Fatal Solution, was published in May 2021. Sabrina’s Teardrop, a thriller set in Shropshire will be published in Autumn 2022. An advocate of the ‘classic’ murder mystery genre, Leslie is also a keen historian, which is reflected in the authenticity of his novels.

Born and educated in South Wales, Leslie worked in local industry before travelling widely across the UK during a career in the Civil Service. His first novel was inspired in part by his Italian and English ancestors having settled in South Wales in the late nineteenth century. A keen fly fisherman and real ale enthusiast, he lives close to the Welsh border, in the county town of Shrewsbury.

Read more about Leslie Scase on his Seren Books

and Crime Cymru pages

and on Facebook


Twitter  @InspectorChard

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