As a child, books were not just stories for me; they were windows into enchanting worlds. One such world was Wales, a place I first fell in love with through the pages of "How Green Was My Valley." This book painted Wales as a land of wonder and magic, a sentiment that stayed with me through the years.
This magic was further reinforced when I stumbled upon the Chronicles of Narnia at age twelve. While the landscapes of Narnia sprang from C.S. Lewis's imagination, in my mind, they were interwoven with the verdant hills and mystical allure of Wales. This connection was not just a childhood fancy; it grew into a deep-seated affection for the Welsh countryside, shaping my creative vision.
As I ventured into writing mysteries, my fascination with idyllic English villages and their quintessential characters, like the village vicar, guided my creativity. However, it was the allure of Welsh tales and the unique charm of Northern Wales that truly captivated me. Northern Wales, with its rich history and breathtaking landscapes, seemed like the perfect tapestry upon which to weave my stories.
Interestingly, my journey with Wales took a more tangible turn. I discovered an abbey in Northern Wales that sparked my imagination and helped me visualize Gwenafwy Abbey, the central setting in my series. Although I had already written the first book without visiting W
ales, I later had the opportunity to travel there. This visit was a revelation. It allowed me to soak in the ambiance, understand the nuances of the landscape, and enhance the authenticity of my descriptions.
While it's not always feasible to travel to every location, there's an undeniable value in experiencing a place firsthand. That said, I believe that a writer's bond with a setting can also be forged through years of imaginative journeying and research. Over time, I've grown to know and love Wales more intimately, and this connection has deeply influenced my writing.
So, as you delve into the mysteries set in the Welsh countryside in my books, I invite you to explore and perhaps fall in love with this magical land, just as I have. Keep reading, and let's embark on this journey together through the enchanting landscapes of Wales.
Happy Reading and Joyful Writing,
(photos from our trip to Wales)