A lunchtime trip to my bookshop in Swansea, as they were having a meet the author event. Today's author was Alis Hawkins, a Welsh crime author, who has written the Teifi Valley Coroner series, the first book being None So Blind. She was a brilliant speaker, very engaging and funny, and I'm sure she could have talked for longer. I look forward to reading her series, it sounds very interesting and up my street, being a crime novel set in historic times, in this case early Victorian West Wales.
Since my desire to get out of my reading rut, i.e. the same authors all the time, I've been on voyage of discovery and found some great new authors to me. And these events are a great way of discovering new authors to add to your collection, I would recommend you do at your local bookshop.
The one sad and disappointing thing from her talk, and it does make me angry, is that she said she'd had many rejection letters from publishers because her book was set in Wales. They all loved the idea, it was just the location, apparently Wales isn't cool enough. It could have been set anywhere in England, or even Scotland these days, and it wouldn't have been a problem but Wales just wouldn't be a seller according to publishers. If you want to be a crime author it would appear you can be Welsh, but you have to set your story outside of this country. This winds me up, we've continually been put down in this country as if we're not good enough, as if we've always got to move outside Wales to prosper or to change our accent, and it angers me greatly and why this country needs change. Good on Alis for persevering, and as she said you have to have sheer bloody mindedness to get a novel published.
That ends my rant and blip for today.