Once again our Welsh event proved the most popular event of the day. An evening of entertainment by Carmarthenshire’s brightest and best young Welsh poets: Eurig Salisbury, Elinor Wyn Reynolds, Miriam Elin Jones and Endaf Griffiths. Torri Tir had the audience bursting with laughter.
Fans of Sherlock Holmes gathered to a fabulous performance by David Stuart Davies, who delivered a top event with “The Game’s Afoot”, where Author and creation Sherlock Holmes meet in a hugely entertaining encounter. A truly remarkable evening with a long queue for signed copies of his books.
David Ebsworth held an informative and well presented speech about the Spanish Civil War, with a lively Question and Answer session. David was so involved in the talk that he forgot to plug his new book, and had to be helped by the festival staff to draw attention to his fabulous and critically acclaimed writing.
Now on to the full festival days. Hope to see you there!
The LitFest started off tremendously well with three excellent events. Th electure on Welsh Hymn writer William Williams in the Welsh language opened the festival to a packed and enthusiastic audience.
Kate Glanville and Brenda Squires created a lively discussion with their audience when they talked with Christoph Fischer about the genre romance and their books. Some lucky readers managed to get their copies signed.
Lisa Fearn talked about her cooking book and gave a demonstration of her skills to a crammed Ginhaus Deli, proving her popularity and Llandeilo’s unsatiable appetite for delicious food and gin.
All in all, a fantastic start to the Festival.
William Williams event at Llandeilo Library
Brenda Squires signing copies of her novels after the discussion
Another packed event: Cooking demonstration with Lisa Fearn at the Ginhaus Deli
£5,90Is Romance Dead? With Brenda Squires and Kate Glanville, local authors of romances that also contain strong historical and thriller elements. They discuss the subject and read from their latest books. Dau awdur lleol sy’n arbenigo mewn rhamant yn trafod eu gwaith
£5,90 Cooking Demonstration With Lisa Fearn, from the Pumpkin Patch gardening and cookery school. A regular on radio, S4C and a Carmarthen Journal columnist and author of Blas. Cookery demonstration and discussion. Ychydig o goginio a thrafod bwyd a garddio gyda Lisa Fearn, awdures y llyfr coginio bendigedig, Blas.
I will be interviewing Kate Glanville and Brenda Squires tonight at the Llandeilo LitFest, two local authors of romances with historical and thriller elements. They discuss the subject and read from their latest books. Dau awdur lleol sy’n arbenigo mewn rhamant yn trafod eu gwaith
We’ll be discussing the genre, it’s reputation, the best and the worst, what makes it appealing and can it survive continuing literary snobbery and criticism from feminists, to name but a few of its critics? What do we make of this genre?
I hope to see some of you at the event tonight. To whet your appetite, let me introduce Brenda and some of Kate’s novels:
Stargazing is really enjoyable as family drama with a strong romantic component that will appeal largely but not exclusively to female readers. The changing viewpoints provide depth to the unexpected separation of Daniel and Nesta. It affects their daughter Seren, too, who tries to find dirt on her father’s new mistress, only to find surprises.
Quite slowly burning suspense builds up and comes to a riveting crescendo.
I really enjoyed the characters in this novel and the impersonations by the narrator. Although I started this book in a busy period of my life, I raced through it, taking every opportunity to listen (to the recently released audio version).
Most, I enjoyed the profound goodness of some of the characters and their admirable way to deal with bad situations in the right way. In our time of suing culture and increased self-involvement I found this book a refreshing reminder of human values, a cosy refuge with some amazing role models.
Full of great scene setting, from the anniversary party of her parents to family mornings, a cosiness remains within the thriller element that slowly but surely protrudes as the story progresses. Innocence comes through the perspective of a young woman watching a marriage dissolve and getting mixed up in something bigger than she thought.
Seren is a fabulous character and what adds to the greatness of this novel is the balanced portrayal of the unpleasantness of a break-up and the element of hope and moving forward. Never simplistic in its message, the novel is inspirational as it is lovely. Told from various perspectives, i.e. Seren’s mother and the love rival, we get the whole picture and create sympathy for all of them.
This is a wonderful, entertaining and gripping read that I cannot recommend enough.
Pace and plotting are well handled and the narrator is making this a pleasure to read. Hugely enjoyable
Scratch the surface and life is never as perfect as it seems…Three women, connected by one man: Daniel is father to Seren, husband to Nesta and lover to Frankie. When he leaves Nesta and their beautiful home in the middle of the party to celebrate their fortieth wedding anniversary Seren’s world begins to crumble. Only the continuation of the family ideal can make things right. But Nesta isn’t so sure. And for Frankie, Daniel offers hope of a safe and secure future. But all three women are carrying secrets that they’ve kept hidden even from those closest to them. Secrets that might even threaten a life.
Heartstones is a beautifully told story of new beginnings and old secrets. Phoebe’s grieving for her secret lover – nobody knows they were an item, so she needs to get away from it all and seeks shelter in a small village in West Ireland.
Keeping secrets there is possible apparently – as she stumbles on one via a diary she finds – but difficult, as she soon gets involved in the village life.
An unlikely romance might be on the card, while Phoebe tries to uncover what happened in 1948.
If you ever lived in a small village or in Ireland you will appreciate the scene setting by Kate, the characters and the wit. This is a very engaging and compelling read, long enough to allow character development and depth to the cast, while fast enough to keep you turning the pages to find out what has happened.
This is an inner journey of recovery and a coming of age tale, full of love for life and all kinds of people. A wonderful read.
For me this is romantic literature with far better characters than the average romance novel. It reminded me of the great adventure spirit in some of Enid Blyton’s novels and her work will remain for me an “Enid Blyton for grownups”
Brenda Squires won the Romantic Novelists Association’s New Writers Award with her first book, Landsker, which was a coming-of-age novel set again the upheaval of the General Strike in 1926. Her new novel “The Love of Geli Raubal” is set in 193os Berlin and revolves around the mysterious death of Hitler’s niece in 1932.
After a degree in modern languages and working as a teacher and translator, Brenda retrained as a psychotherapist.In 2000 she did an MA in the Practice and Teaching of Creative Writing at Cardiff University. Brenda is chair of the Penfro Book festival and is actively engaged in the Rhosygilwen arts’ programme, with particular interest in the written and spoken word. She is currently working on a novel set in 1920s London amongst the artistic community. Also a love story and look at culture at that time…
I’m heading to the #LlandeiloLitFest next week – a Literary Festival from 27th – 30th April in the gorgeous Welsh market town of Llandeilo. I’ll be signing and selling books on Saturday 29th April in the Civic Hall, Crescent Road (SA19 6HN if you need SatNav directions). I’ll be offering some great deals too. While stocks last, I will be giving everyone who buys ‘A Symphony of Dragons’ paperback a free copy of ‘Beneath the Rainbow’ too…and who doesn’t want a free paperback?
So, in preparation I thought I’d share the interview I did for Llandeilo Book Fair(find the original interview here) with you:
Please tell us about the books you’ll be bringing to the Book Fair. Beneath the Rainbow: Freya won’t let anything stand in her way. Not even death. Freya’s family are left to fulfil her dreams, but as time…
£5,90 Poetry Workshop Rhys Milsom Personal moments combined with the ongoing evolution or de-evolution of nature are the focal points of Rhys’ poetry. He will be using these themes in his workshop. Each participant will craft a poem of their own mindset and experiences. Gweithdy barddoniaeth gyda Rhys Milsom. Bydd cyfle ichi fynd ati I gyfansoddi cerdd yn y gweithdy hwn.
Kate Murray: Writing My Way Out of Dyslexia Kate was told she would never write and at the age of twenty-four she was diagnosed with dyslexia. Suddenly the world of the written word opened its door to her. Now Kate is writing her way out of dyslexia and will tell her story and advise others to do the same. Er bod Kate Murray yn dyslexic, mae’i wedi ymroi I ysgrifennu yn greadigol er gwaethaf hynny. Dyma gyfle I glywed ei gwaith.
£2,71Self-publishing and marketing. Where do you start with self-publishing? What should your priorities be? Is there a sequence of steps that can be critical to success? Find answers from Christoph Fischer and Philippa Davies. Christoph has successfully self-published 11 books and Philippa has had novels filmed for S4C film and serialised by The Times. Wedi ystyried hunan-gyhoeddi? Beth yw y blaenoriaethau? Mae Christoph a Philippa yn hen lawiau ar y broses.
£2,71 Journey to Publishing Making it in the challenging world of publishing is hard. Considering taking the plunge? Wondering how a publishing contract can be obtained. Authors, David Evans and J A Corrigan, discuss their road to publishing success. Mae y byd cyhoeddi llyfrau yn un cystadleuol dros ben. Ydych chi am fentro? Bydd David Evans a JA Corrigan yn agor y llen ac yn cynnig canllawiau gwerthfawr.
£5,90 Writing for TV and Film What is the difference between writing a book and writing for film or TV? We’ve invited award winning writers, Julian Dutton, Catrin Collier and Rob Gittins to share their vast experience. Sut mae addasu llyfrau ar gyfer cyfrwng y teledu neu ysgrifennu sgript yn hytrach na nofel? Dyma gyfle I glywed dau hen law yn y maes yn trafod y pwnc.
Moderator is Sarah Reynolds, a fellow author and PhD student in creative writing at Aberystwyth
£5,90 Improving Your Writing Skills A workshop with Alys Einion, author of Inshallah. Alys, who has a PhD in creative writing, will offer tips on how to improve your writing skills, and how to take an idea from initial draft to final manuscript. She will also talk about her experience with creative writing courses and give advice on researching and choosing the right writing course for you. Eisiau gwella eich sgiliau ysgrifennu? Dyma gyfle I wneud gyda Alys Einion, awdures Inshallah.
£5,90Sarah Jane Butfield Sarah will share her experience in memoir writing. Don’t we all have a story to tell? Isn’t there a book in all of us? Maybe not one of made-up stories but one of our experience and our truth? Sarah Jane Butfield yn trafod ysgrifennu hunangofiant.
And let’s not forget our workshops for children on Saturday:
Admission is FreeChildren’s workshop Create and illustrate a short story with artist Nuria Otte, suitable for ages 7-11. Gweithdy creu stori a lluniau gyda Nuria Otte, yn addas ar gyfer plant 7-11 oed.
Nuria will work with the children to create a short illustrated story through free play. The participants will choose an object to convert it into a character. They will create a story around him or her (or it). Nuria will help the children to create illustrations using different materials. “
The Valley of Whispers Karla Brading reads from her latest book, The Valley of Whispers, followed by writing exercises to get the wheels in your head turning. Recommended for ages 10 +. Darlleniad o lyfr diweddaraf Kara, The Valley Of Whispers, gyda chyfle I ymarfer eich creadigrwydd chi. Ar gyfer plant 10 +.
Penny Lane and All That is a celebration of growing up in Liverpool’s Penny Lane neighbourhood in the 1940s and 1950s – a place and time very familiar to the Quarrymen/Beatles who celebrated it in their well-known song.
From first-hand experience the writer describes the Penny Lane area itself, the squalor of the city’s slums, the treatment of needy children and unmarried mothers, the glamour of civic events and the cultural diversity of the city – including the writer’s own Welsh background. Childhood stays in early NHS hospitals where parents were only allowed to visit two days a week, schools with high academic expectations, and church activities that were fun, are also described.
Ann suggests the nature of Liverpool citizens’ life…
Sunday April 30th at 2pm
at the Fountain Fine Art Gallery
will see a book launch at the Llandeilo Lit Fest: “Weatherfronts” – an anthology of very different writers, which will also be part of the Hayes Festival in June.
Admission is Free
TippingPoint: Climate Change and the Stories We Tell
We hear many stories about climate change – from scientists, economists and environmentalists. But what can the worlds of fiction, poetry, non-fiction and drama contribute to how we understand and respond to this complex issue?
This event will explore the power of narrative in helping us come to terms with climate change.
Following an event called Weatherfronts – a project made possible by Free Word, TippingPoint and Durham University – five commissioned authors together with a climate scientist will discuss their work based on the belief that humans are wired to respond to stories more than ‘facts’, their hope is to reach new audiences whose engagement with science and politics is limited:
· Justina Hart: a poetry sequence called Doggerland Rising
· Darragh Martin: a children’s story called: Thumbelina Jellyfizz and the Elephant in the Bathroom.
· David Thorpe: a story called The Denaturalised.
Darragh writes extremely funny stories for children and will be reading from one of them that is in the anthology, Justina’s poetry is sensitive, powerful and evocative, and her poems will be about how the North Sea was flooded 3000 years ago, and then there is David Thorpe’s short story which is futuristic and about refugees and politics in a zero carbon Britain. There will be plenty of time for discussion as well.