Friday, 7 March 2008

Welsh author

As part of the blog tour I was asked to write a letter to accompany the book. So I did and what follows is the part of it which deals with who I am. You may find it of interest.

A sleepless student of mine started a Wikipedia article on me and I refer you to that for factual details. Theologically, I am in British terms, a conservative Baptist with Puritan sympathies. In terms of nationality, I see myself as Welsh; I am Welsh by name (family legend gives me a twelfth century ancestor, one de Walys “of Wales”) I was born – and born again – in Wales – and am now a Welsh resident. There are Welsh distinctives in writing and they are there in my books. We Welsh are a people who have a fondness for their land, fields and trees; we prefer villages and fields to towns and streets. We are marginal folk; a little people whose fate has long been determined by others. We are sceptical of empires and suspicious of kings; our sad monuments record the names of too many who left our villages to fight and never returned. When we lift our eyes up from these wet, stony soils our thoughts rarely turn to the practicalities of rule or wealth; instead we dream. We dream of the past, preferring epics that look back to when we were a mighty people and – more rarely – we dream of the future. Above all we dream of things beyond this world: for us – as for all Celts – the boundary between the natural and the supernatural is thin and often breaks. We are well aware of sin and evil and, sometimes, grace. We are emotional, given to laughter, tears and the impulsive gesture but have a weakness for nostalgia: we are a people happiest – if that is the word – with twilight rather than dawn. We have a love of tales of many words and a great liking for music although we are perhaps too fond of slow, mournful tunes but then we have much to mourn. Yet for all our frailties, we produce heroes and we endure. Such things you may find echoed in my books.

Have a good week