Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Meet the participants of the #LlandeiloBookFair: John and Sarada Thompson

John Thompson 

John was born in the district of Eton in 1942, and spent a happy and carefree childhood in the rural setting of Old Windsor. After attending Windsor Grammar School, John went to the University of Aberdeen, graduating in 1965 with an Honours Degree in History. He followed this by reading for an M.A. in American History at the College of William and Mary in Virginia, and happened to be in the United States when both Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy were assassinated – tempestuous times!

John taught at a private school in London on his return to the U.K., and eventually became side-tracked into Law, reading for an external degree from the University of London and then taking the Bar examinations in 1976. John spent the next two decades as a practising barrister.

John has always been a voracious reader, devouring many of the classics while still at junior school, and can remember writing stories in his teenage years and reading them to his grandmother, who pretended to be suitably impressed. 
John has an abiding interest in the human psyche, having studied Psychology as a minor subject in his first degree, while twenty years of practice in divorce and criminal law exposed him to every aspect of the human mind!
John is a keen member of his local writing group, Llanelli Writers’ Circle, which provides excellent support and critical analysis. Over the last decade or so John has specialised mainly in short stories, and has won awards from the ‘National Association of Writers’ Groups’ and been short-listed several times in other competitions, notably those contained in ‘Writing Magazine’, which he would recommend to any aspiring writer.

From his early twenties John developed a keen interest in Hindu religion, while recognising that all the major religions teach in essence the same values. History shows, however, that religion can be perverted by mankind to justify various objectives, often resulting in acts of barbarity and genocide. On the smaller scale, charlatans may use religion in order to impose their will upon others, whether for sexual gratification, pecuniary reward, or simply the exercise of personal power – and in some cases all three!

This is the thrust of ‘The Brindavan Chronicle’, in which a charismatic man uses his charm to bend the will of others to his own purpose. The real interest in such a situation is not that the gullible and guileless can be taken in by such a man, but how they respond when they manage to see through the veil of delusion.


Sarada Thompson 

Sarada is an Indian artist and writer, resident in the U.K. since 1973 and in Wales since 1990. Born in Singapore she worked as a journalist for local newspapers. When she arrived in London, she looked set to read law, but then spent the next two decades raising a family; writing for the Northampton and Milton Keynes weeklies during this time.

She has exhibited her artwork in various venues in England, Wales, Ireland and Australia and offered story-telling workshops through art, drama and writing in schools and universities; and also art therapy for mental health patients. The Hindu Story-Telling workshops also involved writing, as part of the National Curriculum in schools, colleges and universities.

Sarada has won awards in mini-tales in the ‘National Association of Writers’ Groups’ in Durham, the ‘Travel Award’ in 2009 and the ‘President’s Award’ in 2010 in the local writers’ circle and has had a few of her short stories published in both the University’s Anthology ‘Shadow Plays’ in 2010 and more recently in the local ‘Athena’.

She was awarded her Master’s Degree in Creative Writing at Trinity St. David Carmarthen; University of Wales in 2012.

Recently Sarada has published several unique illustrated Hindu story books - notably 'Ganesha - Ten Tales', 'Savitri' and 'Meenakshi - Warrior Princess' and is a regular contributor to the Indian Informer.
At present she is preparing her novel 'The Neem Tree’ for publication.

Monday, 27 February 2017

Meet the participants of the #LlandeiloBookFair / #LlandeiloLitFest: Phil Carradice

Image result for call up phil carradiceProlific and acclaimed author Phil Carradice is another new addition to our Book Fair in April. In addition to his presence there, he will also be part of the Lit Fest itself, with a reading from his newest novel "Stargazers" and an event with Judith Barrow about WW2 Fiction.

Image result for stargazers phil carradiceHere is a note from Phil about his presence at the Book Fair:
"Books I'll be bringing are 
The Call Up, Stargazers and several others.

The Call Up is adult history, a study of National Service in Britain.

Stargazers is a novel for adults/ young adults. 


Stargazers is the story of Yaniv Sharon, a 16 year old who joins the Palace Guard in an unnamed Middle Eastern country. His first job is to help escort two stargazers on a mysterious quest. It is a tale of adventure, romance and intrigue - but above all it is a "coming of age" story.

I'm proud of all my books but, as you might expect, the latest is always a favourite - in this case The Call Up and Stargazers.

Saturday April 29th at 4pm at the Fountain Fine Art Gallery
Phil Carradice reads from his new young adult novel Star Gazers
Eventbrite - Reading by Phil Carradice from his latest novel “Star Gazers”  Admission is Free Star GazersPhil Carradice reads from Star Gazers, his latest novel for young adults. In the Middle East, Yaniv yearns for adventure, so he welcomes the chance to escort some star gazers on a mysterious journey. But what are they really looking for?
Darlleniad o nofel ddiweddaraf Phil, Star Gazers, stori am daith antur llawn dirgelwch yn y Dwyrain Canol.
Eventbrite - Judith Barrow and Phil Carradice discuss the powerful influence of World War 2 on literary inspiration  £5,90 The Influence of World War II on Literary Inspiration.Authors Phil Carradice and Judith Barrow discuss their works set during the war that still has a powerful grip on our imaginations. Phil has written fiction and non-fiction books on the subject matter and Judith’s Pattern of Shadows, the first part of a trilogy, is set in the war in a Lancashire town with a POW camp.
Pam bod yr Ail Ryfel Byd yn dal ei afael mor dyn ar ein dychymyg? Mae’r ddau awdur wedi ysgrifennu yn helaeth ar y mater.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Meet the participants of the #LlandeiloBookFair / #LlandeiloLitFest: Sally Spedding

Sally is a familiar and popular face in Llandeilo and Carmarthenshire. She will be at the book fair as well as being part of the Lit Fest. On Saturday April 29th at 12 noon at the Angel Inn Sally will be part of this event:
Eventbrite - Panel discussion with local crime fiction writers Sally Spedding, Thorne Moore and Cheryl Rees-Price  £5,90 Welsh Thrillers with Thorne Moore, Sally Spedding and Cheryl Rees-PriceThree crime writers discuss Welsh thrillers and crime fiction, on a panel hosted by author Carol Lovekin.Trafodaeth rhwng triawd o awduron llyfrau trosedd.
Welcome Sally. Please tell us about the books you’ll be bringing to the Book Fair. 

All my books from ‘Wringland’ to ‘The Yellowhammer’s Cradle.’  Please see my website under BOOKS . www.sallyspedding.com

Which genres do they belong to?

Noir crime, with additives!

What are the characters and plots like?

Inspired and influenced by setting, history and psychology.  Digging beneath the surface…

Tell us about your newest book.

‘The Yellowhammers’ Cradle’ is historical, crime/horror  set in 1851 in rural Argyll where witches roamed, and suspicion thrived. All with the bottomless Loch Nonach as a backdrop.

Which of your books are you’re most proud of, and why?

‘Malediction,’ because Sparkling Books, my publishers, were brave enough to believe in it.

What is the best thing that has been said about your books?

That they are at best disturbing, and at worst, terrifying.

Why did you decide to come to the Hwl Llandeilo Literature Festival?

Christoph Fischer kindly invited me on a panel of Welsh Noir writers.

Do you have a special connection to Wales?

I was born near Porthcawl, and my mother was from Neath. Her father, Ben Bowen was, in turn,  Mayor of Neath. Also, my Dutch grandparents escaped to Penarth, then to a wonderful house on the Blorenge, outside Abergavenny.

What is your personal background?

Sculpture, watercolour/collages and illustration. Horses, secondary school teaching at the then Ysgol Gyfun Tregib. Having won an international short story competition, I was approached by an agent. I’m also a poet who finds making every word count very useful  for prose. Love Wales and France, with a bolthole in the eastern Pyrenees.

Who are your favourite authors? 


Pierre Magnan; Philippe Claudel; Nele Neuhaus; Johan Theorin.

Connect with Sally on
Twitter –  @SallySpedding
or her Website – www.sallyspedding.com

Meet the participants of the #LlandeiloBookFair: Penny Luker

Penny is another newbie to our Book Fair and one with quite a considerable back catalogue. Welcome Penny. Please tell us about the books you’ll be bringing to the Book Fair and their genres.

‘The Truth Finder’ is a young adult fantasy book about Earth in the fifth millennium. It is about a young man who can read minds, but his gift is a double edged sword.

‘The Mermaid' is a book of short stories for adults and includes a prize winning story from the Chudleigh Phoenix Writing competition. It has a variety of genre and a mixture of appealing characters.
(and not so appealing)

'Nature's Gold' and ‘Autumn Gold’ are poetry anthologies, full of poetry to enjoy.

'The Green Book' and 'Tiny Tyrannosaurus' are chapter books, suitable for children under eleven. These are great for bedtime stories, either to be read by the parent or the child. Both books bring a little magic into a family’s life.

Tell us about your newest book.

My latest book is a children’s picture book called ‘Desdemona: The Dragon Without Any Friends’. Desdemona learns about friendship, when the town of Wrex comes under threat.

Which of your books are you most proud of, and why?

Each book is an achievement. The Truth Finder is the first novel I’ve completed. Nature’s Gold and Autumn Gold are collections of poetry that have built up over a number of years and I love writing poetry. The Green Book and Tiny Tyrannosaurus were written for my Canterbury grandchildren and Desdemona is the first book that I’ve illustrated.

What is the best thing that has been said about your books?

The best thing ever was when my grandson sat down and read Tiny Tyrannosaurus to me and said it was his favourite book. Obviously praise from family doesn’t count with readers so I’ve picked the latest review from the The Truth Finder by Lacey.
‘I've read a few books by Penny Luker. Although I've enjoyed all the books I've read by her, I have to say this one is the best.
The Truth Finder is aimed at a Young Adult audience ,but it's enjoyable to read even if you're older.
Vrail was an interesting character with interesting abilities.
This story is set in the future but the author has created a world that's easy to imagine and while you're reading the book, it feels like you're there with the characters.
This book is a very quick read and comes highly recommended.’

Why did you decide to come to the Llandeilo Book Fair?

I’m friends on Facebook with a number of indie authors who are coming to this book fair. I did some research about the Llandeilo Book Fair and it looked like a really fun event. I thought it would be good to have the opportunity to meet readers face to face.

Do you have a special connection to Wales?

I love Wales and have had lots of holidays here. My daughter and family live in Wales and I have two Welsh grandchildren (as well as two in Canterbury). I also work in Wales as a volunteer for the Alzheimer Society in Flintshire, where I run an information point in a GP surgery.

What is your personal background?

I am a retired primary head teacher and a former associate lecturer with the Open University. Now I spend my time writing, studying art and playing music as well, of course, spending time with family.

Who are your favourite authors?

Lesley Hayes, Christoph Fischer, Tom Benson, Trudi Canavan, Elizabeth George, P.D. James, J.K.Rowling and Ruth Rendell.

Please share your social media links and buy links to your books.

You can keep up to date with my writing on my websites: www.pennyluker.wordpress.com and www.penspoems.wordpress.com

My Amazon author page is
http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B008TR5ZLU

http://www.amazon.com/Penny-Luker/e/B008TR5ZLU/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1460194746&sr=1-2-ent

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pennyluker.writer/?ref=bookmarks

Twitter: @PennyLuker



https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mermaid-Penny-Luker/dp/0955989620/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1486589555&sr=1-1&keywords=penny+luker

Friday, 24 February 2017

Meet the participants of the #LlandeiloBookFair / #LlandeiloLitFest: Carol Lovekin

Carol is an old favourite of the Book Fair and we're glad to welcome her for a third time, not only to once again present her award nominated book "Ghostbird" (readings of which were amongst the most attended events at previous book fairs) but this time also to host a panel discussion about Welsh thrillers. 
Eventbrite - Panel discussion with local crime fiction writers Sally Spedding, Thorne Moore and Cheryl Rees-Price  £5,90 Welsh Thrillers with Thorne Moore, Sally Spedding and Cheryl Rees-PriceThree crime writers discuss Welsh thrillers and crime fiction, on a panel hosted by author Carol Lovekin.Trafodaeth rhwng triawd o awduron llyfrau trosedd.

But on with the interview. Welcome back Carol. 

1. Please tell us about the books you’ll be bringing to the Book Fair.

  GHOSTBIRD was published in March 2016 by Honno, the Welsh Women's Press. It was voted as both Waterstones Wales & Welsh Independent Bookshops Book of the Month April 2016, long-listed for the Not the Booker Prize 2016 & nominated as a Guardian Readers Book of the Year 2016.

2. Which genre does it belong to?

  Ghostbird is contemporary fiction with a sliver of magical realism & a small ghost.
  
3. What are the characters and plots like?

   “Nobody will tell Cadi anything about her father and her sister. Her mother Violet believes she can only cope with the past by never talking about it. Lili, Cadi’s aunt, is stuck in the middle, bound by a promise she shouldn’t have made. This summer, Cadi is determined to find out the truth. In a world of hauntings and magic, in a village where it rains throughout August, as Cadi starts her search, the secrets and the ghosts wake up. None of the Hopkins women will be able to escape them.”
  
4. Tell us about your newest book.

   The Snow Sisters is another ghost story, darker than Ghostbird & also set in Wales. It’s due for publication later this year.

5. Which of your books are you most proud of, and why?

   I’m slowly getting to grips with Imposter Syndrome & discovering I’m proud of all my stories.

6. What is the best thing that has been said about your book?


  
This is part of a review of Ghostbird which perfectly encapsulates my aim to normalise gay relationships in fiction, one lesbian at a time:
  
I … commend Lovekin for … her portrayal of same sex relationships: during the course of the story, Lili falls in love with another woman in the village – and that’s it: it isn’t swept under the carpet nor does it take over the narrative, it’s just one of the many elements in the novel’s tapestry, treated as completely normal, and it’s beautiful.”

7. Why did you decide to come to the Llandeilo Book Fair?

  
Distances & financial restraints can mean writers & readers based in Wales miss out on major book fairs & prestigious literary events. The success of last year’s book fairs, the brainchild of Christoph Fischer, means a literary festival was the next logical step. I have huge admiration for Christoph. He is a powerhouse: passionate about culture, the arts in general & literature in particular. He is tireless in his support for & promotion of other writers, not least new ones. There are others involved in this venture of course. I’m delighted to be included; excited that a literary festival is being created in heart of Wales.

8. Do you have a special connection to Wales?

  
I’ve lived here since 1979 – it’s heart’s home.


9. Who are your favourite authors?

   I became mesmerised by Virginia Woolf’s vision in my early twenties & remain fascinated by her writing. Although I adore her novels, it’s her letters & diaries I still find most intriguing & inspiring. A Writer’s Diary never leaves my bedside. Other writers for whom I have a huge admiration include A S Byatt, Edna O’Brien & Margaret Atwood. Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird is possibly my favourite book. I’m an admirer of numberless contemporary British women writers including Maggie O’Farrell, Kate Atkinson, Joanne Harris & Judith Kinghorn. There are some fabulous new writers making a serious mark on the British literary landscape: Louise Beech, Rebecca Mascull, Amanda Jennings & Sarah Hilary are a few of them. And I have to include many of my sister Honno authors, whose talent is matched by their generosity of heart.

Book buying links: 

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Meet the participants of the #LlandeiloBookFair / #LlandeiloLitFest: Cheryl Rees-Price

Cheryl will not only be at the Book Fair for the first time but she will also be part of an author panel talking about Welsh Thrillers on Saturday at the Angel Inn at 1pm

Please tell us about the books you’ll be bringing to the Book Fair.

I’ll be bringing three of my books to the book fair, my debut novel, Echoes, and the first two books in the DI Winter Meadows series.

Echoes: Nightmares and ghostly visions lead to a 60 year old mystery. Do you believe in ghosts?

The Silent Quarry:  A missing woman, an unsolved murder, and a village steeped in secrets.

Frozen Minds: Two murders and the next victim chosen, Bethesda house is no longer a safe haven.

Which genres do they belong to?

Crime/Mystery

What are the characters and plots like?

DI Winter Meadows is the central character in my books, born on a commune and raised by hippy parents he is charismatic, intuitive, and has an uncanny gift for finding the truth. The plots are suspenseful with a mix of ‘whodunit’ and ‘police procedure’. There is some humour as well as darker elements.   

Tell us about your newest book. 

My latest release is Frozen Minds and the second in the DI Meadows series.  The book centres on a murder in Bethesda house, a home for adults with leaning difficulties. Suspicion falls on the residents and the case proves challenging, for Meadows and his team, when the only witnesses have complex personalities and a unique view of the world. When a second murder occurs it’s clear that Bethesda is no longer a safe haven.

Which of your books are you’re most proud of, and why?

The book I’m most proud of is The Silent Quarry. This was my first attempt at writing a crime novel.

What is the best thing that has been said about your books?

I’m always thrilled when someone asks me when the next book is being released.

Why did you decide to come to the Llandeilo Book Fair?

As this is a local event I’m am delighted that I’ve been invited to attend  There is a varied and full programme and  I’m excited to get the chance to meet up with the other participating authors and readers.

Do you have a special connection to Wales? 

I have lived in Wales all my life. It’s a place I am proud to call home.

What is your personal background?

I was born in Cardiff and moved to Brynaman as a young child. After leaving school I worked as a legal clerk for several years before leaving to raise my two daughters. I returned to education when my girls started school, studying philosophy, sociology, and accountancy. I now work as a finance director for a project management company. My dream is to write full time and a cottage by the sea would be nice!

Who are your favourite authors?

Among my favourites are Sharon Bolton, Harlan Coben, Linwood Barclay, and R D Wingfield.
Please share your social media links and buy links to your books.

Eventbrite - Panel discussion with local crime fiction writers Sally Spedding, Thorne Moore and Cheryl Rees-Price  £5,90 Welsh Thrillers with Thorne Moore, Sally Spedding and Cheryl Rees-PriceThree crime writers discuss Welsh thrillers and crime fiction, on a panel hosted by author Carol Lovekin.Trafodaeth rhwng triawd o awduron llyfrau trosedd.