Tuesday, 29 January 2013

'Welsh Noir' and News from Wales

Waking up to leaden skies and yet more rain driving against the window, I was very interested to hear an item on Radio 4’s Today programme about the potential for ‘Welsh Noir’. Hinterland, a new detective drama currently being filmed in and around Aberystwyth, has been bought by DR Denmark, the Danish company behind The Killing. The weather here is certainly bleak and grey enough at times to make me feel as if I’m living in a Danish drama, but what’s made me a huge fan of Scandinavian dramas like The Killing and The Bridge is the quality of the writing. The second series of Borgen, the political drama, has, for me, been outstanding and I particularly like being allowed to work the story out for myself instead of being spoon-fed.  

So, will ‘Welsh Noir’ become the next big thing? Well, Ed Thomas, the producer of Hinterland, put his finger on the essence of wide appeal when he stressed that authentic stories also had to be universal; or, to use a familiar catchphrase, it’s about local stories for global markets and creating characters that audiences – or readers – care about. This stunning landscape provides a strong, atmospheric location, so if Hinterland has the stories and characters to match, it’s bound to be a success. And after ‘Welsh Noir’, will ‘Welsh Romance’ follow? If any TV producers would like to take Move Over Darling to the small screen, I’m very happy to discuss the project! 

In the meantime, I’ve been talking to Rhoda Baxter, about my inheritance books which was great fun to do (even though I sneaked rather more books in than I was supposed to). I’m also in the Western Mail this week talking about how sailing brought me to Wales.

And finally…
And in other news, the latest member of our blended and extended family is here! Many congratulations to Stepson One and his clever wife on the safe arrival of their beautiful son.

The epainting is Cefn Gwlad by Tom Tomos

Monday, 21 January 2013

Snowed Under...

Apologies for being a bit elusive, but I'm trying very hard at the moment to crack on with Book Three.  It's therefore a bit rich of me to ask anyone else for their time, however, here's the latest book news for Move Over Darling for anyone who might be interested.

I'm a guest blogger at RomCon, home of the Annual Romance Readers Convention, today.
The large print of edition of Move Over Darling is out now, as is the audiobook, read by Charlotte Strevens who has a lovely warm voice and took immense trouble to get in touch with me before making the recording so she could be sure to get the accents right. You can hear a sample here.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

New Year Shoots

2012 was memorable both professionally and privately; a photo shoot for a national campaign, appearances in national press, a new book and a new son-in-law...

Photo by Exposure Photography
My working year

A happy day
But over Christmas and the New Year, everyone around us seemed to be struck down with illness or, in Ma’s case, by her iron falling off a high shelf on to her back (really, can this woman never tire of finding new and inventive ways of injuring herself?). And on the last day of the old year, there was news of a little death when our distraught next-door neighbour came to the door to ask our help in retrieving the poor worn-out body of the shy stray cat she had fed for three years from her garden. Tom and I always called it The Invisible Cat because it was so wary of human contact, but as we stood over it with our torches in the rain, we were both moved to see that the poor thing had tried, and just failed, to make it back to a place of safety, a basket in our neighbour’s greenhouse.

I felt a little apprehensive as the new year began with worries about parents, children and career (Fifty Shades of Grey may have done wonders for erotica, but has dented sales for writers like me who are interested in heads not tails). There’s some hard work ahead, but some green shoots too. This first week of 2013 has brought a £25 premium bond, busy times for Stepson Two and house-hunting for Lily and Russ. On Thursday Tom and I had a very touching request from Rose’s partner, Si, and Sunday brought one tearfully happy Rose with a big sparkly engagement ring which was brilliant news. Last but not least, Stepson One and his wife are expecting their first baby any day now… so you can imagine how jumpy we are every time the phone rings! 

The shoots in the photo are crocuses from my dear friend Ann, one of my Ace Gang, my beloved Thursday Girls. I’m not known for my green fingers so I was a bit doubtful when she presented us each with a bulb kit back in November – but look, here they are!