I was born in Wales and I can trace my ancestors back to the 1600s when records run out. One branch of my family was well-to-do, landowning and holding positions of status within the community. Another branch became agriculturallabourers, coal miners and quarrymen. Guess which branch I’m directly related to…I feel an affinity with my ancestors, with the labourers, and the men who cut the coal and quarried the stone.
Why did you decide to write in your chosen genre(s)?
I have always enjoyed private detective fiction so when I decided to write a novel that genre seemed natural to me. I think private detective fiction offers great flexibility for the writer. Within the framework of a mystery novel you can touch on any subject that interests you; anyone can walk in and hire a private detective, so you can develop your stories in any way you choose.
Tell us about the concept behind your book(s).
Although I have written five novels in the Sam Smith Mystery Series, initially I had no thought of writing a series. The first idea was to write a frivolous story about a flaky female detective; the outline made me laugh, but I soon realised that it was a one-joke plot. I was scribbling ideas on to a notepad one day when I looked up and someone said, “Why don’t you write about me?” I don’t believe in the supernatural, or anything like that, but it was almost as though someone had walked into the room; she sat down, started to tell me her story and Sam was born. The names, the ideas, the storylines came instantly. It was a remarkable moment. And when I write today I still feel as though Sam is sitting beside me, dictating, and I’m just typing the words. That might sound crazy, but it’s the best way I can describe the writing process.
Which Welsh person would you like to invite for dinner and what would you serve?
I like all periods of history, especially Welsh history. I would invite OwainGlyndwr and discuss with him what life was truly like in medieval times and the personal reasons behind his rebellion. As for the meal, I would present him with a modern menu then let the great man choose.
Who is your favourite Welsh author?
I have no firm favourite because, to date, I haven’t discovered a Welsh author who writes private detective fiction. I admire Ken Follett and feel that he is an author Wales can be proud of. And Leslie Thomas deserves a mention too, especially his wonderful autobiography, In My Wildest Dreams.
The people, the landscape, the culture, the history…I am Welsh and very proud of my country.
What are you working on now?
I am writing book six in the Sam Smith Mystery Series while putting together ideas for books seven and eight. Book six, Secrets and Lies, will highlight my experiences in publishing. The story centres on an author, did he commit suicide or was he murdered? That is the mystery element, but the book also explores the concepts of success and failure, and the secrets and lies some people hide behind, particularly people in positions of power.