“Views from the Valley: a collection of rural tales from God’s own country” by Karla J. Smith
A friend recommended this author to me as she lives not far from me. I took an interest but never got round to doing anything about it. Eventually said friend bought me the book, and, short as it is, I soon found a moment to read it. Karla J. Smith has been published in several magazines and I can easily see why. The book deserves all the praise it got, from my friend as well as from the other reviewers.
I truly enjoyed these short but memorable and moving short stories set in the Welsh valleys. The characters draw you in quickly, as do their indivudal situations. An ageing woman reminiscing with an special outfit, valley people old and young, happy or melancholic. Some stories are more serious than others, but they all do certainly cut a slice of Welsh valley life with its charm. It’s hard to give a synopsis of each story but let me say they are all a delight, moving and thought provoking. They ring true, feel authentic and made me smile.
A short but very enjoyable read.
A keen English student at school, but lacking the academic prowess to enter university, I found little opportunity to write beyond the classroom until, decades later, I returned to my childhood home; a weather beaten Welsh hill farm, bordered by an upland bog.
Here the creative urge sucks like marsh on ill-fitting wellies. Cautiously I began to pick my way through the mire of composition, revision, submission and rejection, trying to tell ‘urban’ stories of contemporary comfort or cutting edge gloom.
This unfamiliar path led precisely nowhere so I turned my attention to the people of the bog itself, toughened by history, softened by charm, tugging at my sleeve and heart, clamouring for their stories to be told.
Happily, this led to my winning some writing competitions, and having stories accepted by People’s Friend and Woman’s Weekly.
I have also completed a novel, a comic caper set in West Wales, which we hope to release on Kindle soon, and written three very well received pieces for performance by my local drama group.
I am delighted to have a selection of my short stories – Views from the Valley – out now on Kindle. I hope you enjoy them!