Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Our next events

Towards the end of this year 
Llandeilo Lit Fest 
Carmarthenshire Libraries 
are organising a series of 
Book Fairs in 
Llanelli Library, 
Ammanford Library, 
Carmarthenshire Library and one in 

Provisionary dates are:
Carmarthenshire October 21st - Carmarthen Library
Ammanford October 28th - Ammanford Library
Llanelli - November 4th - Llanelli Library
Llandeilo - December 9th - Llandeilo Library and/or Shire Hall and Horeb Chapel

The Llandeilo Lit Fest will be held April 27 - 29th 2018.

There will be another Book Fair on Saturday 28th April at the Civic Hall.
If you are interested in participating in any of the events please email LLandeiloLitFest@mail.com

Thursday, 20 April 2017

All you need to know about your Festival experience in Llandeilo

All you need to know about your Festival experience in Llandeilo

Getting there: Llandeilo is located in Carmarthenshire

Llandeilo is connected to Swansea, Cardiff and Shrewsbury via direct train lines: http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/stations_destinations/LLL.aspx
and via buses to Llandovery, Llanelli, Carmarthen and Ammanford.
It’s well connected for travel by car via the A40 and isn’t far from the end of the M4 near Swansea.

Entry to the Book Fair is free.
Tickets for the festival:

You can buy festival tickets online with direct links from our websitehttps://llandeilolitfest.org/calendar/
but you can also buy paper tickets at Peppercorn,  5 King Street, Llandeilo, Dress Agency 19 Carmarthen Street, Llandeilo and The Red Cross Book Shop Rhosmaen Road, or, if still available, on the door on the day.
Please note that due to the size limitations of the venues events can sell out quickly. To avoid disappointment please book in advance, even for the free events.


The main parking square on Crescent Road provides central and cheap parking but you can also park and walk from an overflow car park at the Llandeilo Rugy Club http://llandeilo.clwbrygbi.cymru/find-us on Saturday and Sunday you can  take advantage of our Free Park and Ride service from Bro Dinefwr School in Ffairfach (http://brodinefwr.org.uk/Contact-Us/ SA19 6PE) with a shuttle bus running approximately every twenty minutes into town from 10am to 10pm.

Shopping: Dress Agency main

Llandeilo is a beautiful market town with a broad selection of shops and restaurants.
Excquisite jewellery, fashionable clothing, gifts, kitchen ware, art and crafts, fair trade shopping, traditionally Welsh items, wool, heavenly chocolate temptations, plants, antiques and garden ornaments – Llandeilo has a lot on offer besides the book fair and the LitFest.
as you will notice if you participate in the book hunt through the local businesses.
16444161_10212036955621561_1356546103_oFrom 10am onwards on the Saturday the Book Fairy will be hiding books and vouchers for signed copies of books by festival and book fair authors all day long and all over town.  A treasure map will be provided to help you find them.
Llandeilo has a great selection of places to eat, from a quick snack to à la Carte meals with 4 star Hotels, Restaurants, Inns, Cafes or Take-aways. If you are getting tired from all the book hunting you can find refreshments everywhere:
Food at the Book Fair at the Civic Hall will be provided by The Hangout on Saturday and Caffi Iechyd Da on the Sunday.
Our venues, the Angel and The Cawdor Hotel on Rhosmaen Street both have a bar and restaurant section. We also recommend Cafe Braz on King Street, the Ginhaus Deli on Market Street or The Plough Inn in Rhosmaen.
If you are thinking of making a weekend of it – and don’t let the Bank Holiday Monday on May 1st and the beautiful Carmarthenshire Countryside put you off this http://www.visitllandeilo.co.uk/?Where_to_Stay

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Introducing the participants of the #LlandeiloBookFair: Publisher profile: Gomer

Welsh books - from Wales - about Wales by welsh authors. Buy Welsh, English and Bilingual books online from the largest independent publisher in Wales ...the home of beautiful books. It all happens here, at our factory in West Wales where we print, fold, bind and despatch to clients . http://www.gomer.co.uk

Gomer have supplied the Lit Fest with plenty of authors and will be selling their books at the Llandeilo Book Fair both days.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Introducing the participants of the #LlandeiloBookFair: Publisher profile "Library of Wales" / "Parthian"

Today I have the honour of introducing "Library of Wales" and Parthian Books, who will be present at the Llandeilo Book Fair on Saturday and Sunday. Their exquisite catalogue includes several of our Lit Fest authors, too.
A Carnival of Voices in Independent Publishing 
Central to our mission is our belief in the power of a great book, and what we publish reflects a diverse and contemporary Wales that casts a keen eye on the wider world. Exciting, vibrant, surprising, relevant and original... in recent years, our authors have garnered critical acclaim and prestigious accolades including The Dylan Thomas Prize, The Betty Trask, the Wales Book of the Year, the Orange Futures Award, The Rhys Davies Prize, the Journey Prize, the Edge Hill Readers' Award and The Stonewall Award.
Image result for library of wales logo parthian

New titles for 2017 include poetry collections from Terry Hetherington and Robin Reeves winner Natalie Ann Holborow, Wales Young People’s Laureate Sophie McKeand, Christina Thatcher, Eleni Cay and Susie Wild. Recent releases include poetry from Kate Noakes, Jasmine Donahaye, Mark Blayney, M.A. Oliver-Semenov, Norman Schwenk, Siôn Tomos Owen and Jemma L. King. 
The Classics of Welsh Literature

We also publish the Library of Wales series edited by Professor Dai Smith. The series includes books such as Border Country, The Black Parade and Dannie Abse’s Ash on a Young Man’s Sleeve. Recent books include W. H. Davies's Young Emma and Alun Richard’s Carwyn, along with a bumper, two volume, short story anthology edited by Dai Smith Story I and Story II.
In Translation
Over the years we have developed good translation links throughout Europe and beyond, and our books have appeared in fifteen foreign-language editions including French, Italian, Spanish, Arabic, Turkish, Danish, Turkish, Portuguese and Russian. We have recently announced our first book deal with New Star publications in China for the thriller The Colour of a Dog Running Away.

Featuring eight writers - eight women - from six countries - from the Basque coast at Donostia, to Slovakia, to Romania, to Germany, to Turkey and from Wales - the  new Parthian Europa Carnivale project represents a collection of new European fiction and poetry, written by some of the most talented contemporary female authors writing today.

The eight books we have chosen tackle a number of extremely important or relevant themes, some of them universal despite their foundations in differing languages, histories and cultures. These writers have woven the tales of a number of extraordinary women challenged by religion, health, love, war and politics; from The Equestrienne’s feeble Karolina, whose passion for trick-riding is threatened by the goliath that is capitalism, to My Mother’s Hands’s Nerea, who must battle more intimate, personal demons in the face of her mother’s amnesia, each story, be it long or short, showcases a masterful depiction of the human spirit in the face of adversity and oppression.

PEC, which began with the publication of Goldfish Memory  by Monique Schwitter in Spring 2015, has eight books either published or in the process of translation, with new voices being discussed for 2017. The books already released have garnered critical acclaim and a wealth of prestigious prizes, including the PEN International/New Voices Award, the Beterriko liburua, the Rotahornpreis and, most recently, the PEN Translates Award.

Our backlist also includes a growing number of titles in translation such as PetrogradHarry Selwyn’s Last RaceTo Bury the Dead
Under the Dust, The Bridge Over the RiverStrange LanguageMartha, Jac and Shanco, Feet in Chains from Spanish, Catalan, German, Basque and Welsh. 


Introducing the participants of the #LlandeiloBookFair: Publisher profile: Seren Books

I'm delighted to introduce Welsh publisher Seren to this blog. Seren provided the Lit Fest with several wonderful authors and they will be present at the Llandeilo Book fair both days.


Seren is Wales’ leading independent literary publisher, specialising in English-language writing from Wales. Many of our books are shortlisted for - and win - major literary prizes across the UK and America.
Our aim is not simply to reflect what is going on in the culture in which we publish, but to drive that culture forward, to engage with the world, and to bring Welsh literature, art and politics before a wider audience.
At the heart of our list is a good story told well or an idea or history presented interestingly or provocatively. We’re international in authorship and readership, though our roots remain here in Wales, where we prove that writers from a small country with an intricate culture have a worldwide relevance.
Since its beginnings in 1981, Seren has developed into one of the most interesting publishing houses in Britain. Based in Bridgend, Seren continues to nurture and publish new talent whose quality is recognised around the world.

Notable books they’ll be bringing along:

Iolo Williams’ stunning guidebook Wild Places

A new Writing Motherhood anthology, 

local author Maggie Harris’ short story collection Writing on Water.

They’ll also bring along
Keidrych Rhys’ The Van Pool, what with this being of local interest. 

And there’s Rhian Edwards’ new illustrated poetry pamphlet Brood

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Book Fair author John Thompson and his book covers

I've already introduced Carmarthenshire based author
John Thompson on this blog recently

but I would like to take this opportunity to show off his brand new - and may I say fantastic - book covers.

John and his wife Sarada will be both at the Book Fair on Saturday and Sunday.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Meet the participants of the Llandeilo Book Fair: Cyfoes

We're delighted to welcome Ammanford bookshop CYFOES to the Book Fair, who will be present both days with a stall of goods, especially catered for the Welsh language readers.
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Siop a chanolbwynt Cymraeg yn Rhydaman gan wasanaethu Dinefwr a thu hwnt!

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Meet the participants of the Llandeilo Book Fair: John Thompson

Today I present another well known face from the previous Book Fairs: Carmarthen based author John Thompson. Welcome back John. Please tell us about the books you’ll be bringing to theBook Fair.

I will be bringing the first volume of The Brindavan Chronicle, published in 2015, sub-titled Genesis, and hopefully volume two, Nemesis, which is presently at the proof-reading stage.  I also have some books of short stories: Adventures in Time, stories for children; The Female of the Species, stories of murder; and Strange Encounters, a collection of ghost stories.  I am currently putting together a fourth book of paranormal short stories which should be ready in time for the Book Fair.

Which genres do they belong to? 

As can be seen from above, I write in a variety of genres, but the theme which runs through all my stories is human relationships: especially how some people use position or power to control others, and how some victims fight back and turn the tables.  I like to write short stories with a twist in the tale (often a nasty one!), but I like to think that some of the things I write also have a feel-good factor.

 What are the characters and plot like?

In The Brindavan Chronicle the story tells of the relationships between a number of characters and a manipulative but charismatic 'guru'.  Several discover that they have been deceived; some of them run for cover, but one in particular, decides to fight back.  How she does this is the main story in Nemesis.
Tell us about your newest book. 

Nemesis is my latest full-length novel, but I have started on the third volume of the trilogy. which will be set some years in the future.  I have also nearly finished a fictional account of the life of Judas Iscariot, entitled A Man Called Judas, which I hope to publish later this year.

Which of your books are you most proud of? 

I am proud of Genesis, for without that first book there would not be a Nemesis, but I guess that the latter is really my favourite because of what the heroine (Meera) goes through, both in order to exact revenge and in what she suffers as a consequence.  Although she is a figment of my imagination, I really feel for her in what she undergoes.

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

So many people who have read Genesis keep asking me when Nemesis is going to be ready because they are desperate to know what happens.  "I just hope that b******d gets his come-uppance" has been said to me more than once, and I take that as a real compliment, for it means that my characters have come alive for them  -  as they have for me!

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

When we heard last year about a book fair in Llandeilo, we were delighted that finally something was happening in our own locality.  It was a great experience  -  meeting so many other local authors, as well as interacting with members of the public.  It gave us the impetus and enthusiasm to start a similar venture in Carmarthen.

Do you have a special connection to Wales?

We began to visit Wales in 1976, and came regularly thereafter until it just seemed common sense to come and live here permanently, which we did in 1990.  Although I have no genetic Welsh connections, I feel thoroughly at home here, and have made many good friends.

What is your personal background?

After leaving school (Windsor Grammar School) I spent the next few years at university in Scotland, England and the United States, gathering degrees in European and American history.  I then taught for a few years in London while studying for a Law degree, and in 1976 passed the Bar exams, and spent the next 20 years as a practising barrister.  This proved an excellent foundation for getting to know the human psyche, and especially how horrible we can be to each other!

Who are your favourite authors?

Over the years I have had so many favourite authors that I have lost track of many of them.  I'm the sort of person who, having liked a book by a certain author, then reads everything that person has written.  For the last few years, however, I have tended to read books which introduce me to different countries and cultures, such as The Kite Runner, The Bookseller of Kabul, and Q & A.  Having said that, I just love Hilary Mantel!

Anyone can contact us through our website, www.thompson-authors.com, or via Facebook (Thompson Authors).  The Brindavan books are available through Amazon, but the books of short stories only directly from me.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Meet the participants of the Llandeilo Book Fair: Colin R. Parsons

Today I have another regular participant, and a very popular at that: Colin R. Parsons. Welcome back to the blog and the book fair. Please tell us about the books you’ll be bringing to the Book Fair.

Wizards’ Kingdom trilogy: The Curious World series : Crank Tech One series : House of Darke : D.I.S.C. Direct Interface Shadow Control

Which genres do they belong to?

Wizards’ Kingdom is mythical fantasy
The Curious World is about a parallel universe.
Crank Tech One is science fiction
House of Darke is a sci-fi/steam-punk concoction.
D.I.S.C. is sci-fi and about bullying and how things change when a disk with strange powers is discovered.

What are the characters and plots like?

Each character has to be magnetic, if you don’t empathise or relate somehow, well that won’t make for a good adventure. The plots to my books are always fast-paced, and filled with thrilling adventures with a twist.

Tell us about your newest book. 

D.I.S.C. launched in mid-February of 2017 and is an adventure about Joseph Lanes. He’d bullied at school and things were looking rather grim, until he discovered a disk in the mud. Joseph, joined by four other teenagers, have to save the earth, as well as confronting the bullies.

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

I get asked this all the time in school visits and writers groups. I’m proud of each and every one I write. It takes a lot to write a book, and if I don’t like what I’m writing, then I’ll stop. You have to be passionate about your craft.

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

I’ve been told by a lot of my readership that House of Darke, my eighth novel, should be made into a film. But saying that, with all the different genres I write in, I’ve been complimented on each one.

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

I’m passionate about my writing, and love meeting new readers, as well as the seasoned collector. I love the idea of people being excited about an event, and when they arrive to see a room filled with writers - that’s got to be special.

Do you have a special connection to Wales?

Born here, and lived in the same house for nearly fifty years. I feel I’m rooted to the very core of the Rhondda Valley. There’s so much talent in Wales too. Writers, Poets, Actors, Artists… what’s not to like?

What is your personal background?

Working class, brought up by hard working parents. My love of reading and writing has taken me from the world of factories and warehousing into school visits. I run Able and Reluctant writers workshops, and I also address assemblies with presentations.

Who are your favourite authors?

So many: Neil Gaiman, Tolkien, CS Lewis, Derek Landy, Kenneth Oppel, Richard Matheson, Philip Pullman… the list goes on.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Meet the participants of the #LlandeiloBookFair: Sarada Thompson

Sarada Thompson has been a strong supporter of the Llandeilo Book Fair and will be appearing this April for the third time to present her wonderful books. 
Welcome back Sarada. Please tell us about the books you’ll be bringing to theBook Fair

 I’ll be bringing my picture-books :

 ‘Meenakshi Devi, The Green Goddess,’ ‘ Savitri,’ and ‘The Ten Tales of Ganesha’

Which genres do they belong to?

 Ancient Hindu Stories

 What are the characters and plot like?

1)  Meenakshi is the legendary Warrior Princess of Madurai. Born in ancient times in a land ruled by men, Meenakshi stands invincible amongst them. Who is this and what will become of her?
2)  Savitri is about to lose the love of her life. Is there any way she can prevent this? What will she do? Will she be prepared to go to the end of the world and beyond – to the Land of the Dead and perhaps intercede with Lord Yama, the Soul-Collector himself?
3) Here we have ten tales of the famous Lord Ganesha – from how Lord Ganesha got his elephant head to the story of Lord Ganesha and the frogs! These are utterly playful, down-to-earth stories.

Tell us about your newest book. 

I am at present writing and illustrating: Durga/Shakti – symbolises Power; the Force which, when given form is feminine.
She is shown as Parvati, when she is gentle. Here she is the more ferocious aspects of Devi/Goddess Durga or Kali; she has eight or ten arms and is astride on a tiger or lion.
I am also working on publishing my novella, ‘The Neem Tree.’ This is a story of a girl born as an outcaste, who manages to overcome her disadvantaged background and finally reaches the ultimate-enlightenment she seeks.

Which of your books are you most proud of?

Love them all, as I write these stories, I find myself immersing in a different world.
Meenakshi for being the original feminist-warrior regardless of gender; Savitri for her fearless wisdom, willing to fight with Death for Love; and Lord Ganesha’s allegorical stories are full of fun.
In ‘The Neem Tree’ - the story is about an outcaste girl and her magical relationship with a mystical neem tree.

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

 ‘The picture-books are therapeutic for adults and informative and entertaining as they are for children’ – Philip
‘I enjoy Sarada’s artwork, which is unique to her story telling.’ – Bethany Coventry

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

Having travelled to Durham, Warwickshire and Winchester for Book Festivals, it was a pleasure to attend a Book Fair at the ‘doorstep’ and meet local writers and book lovers. I came away, ‘buzzing.’

Do you have a special connection to Wales?

 I feel a deep connection with the ancient Celtic roots which have parallels to Hinduism. I have included a picture of Danu, the Celtic Goddess in my art website.
I love the sound of Welsh and find the people warm and friendly and I take pride in gaining my MA in Creative Writing from the University of Wales, Trinity St David.
We first moved in to a farmhouse with five acres in a village, with our two teenage children, two horses, three dogs and five cats. Now we live in town with our daughter and three grandchildren with a different set of pets. Wales is our hiraeth cartref – roughly translates as a nostalgia-home.

What is your personal background?

I am an Indian artist and writer, resident in the U.K. since 1973, and in Wales since 1990. Born in Singapore, I worked as a journalist for local newspapers. When I arrived in London, I was set to read law, but then spent the next two decades raising a family, and writing for the Northampton and Milton Keynes weeklies during this time.
I have exhibited my artwork in various venues in England and Wales, Ireland and Australia. I have 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 involved art, writing and drama, as part of the National Curriculum.

Who are your favourite authors?

Hermann Hesse, Rabindranath Tagore, Chimananda Ngozi Adichie, Jhumpa Lahiri, The Romantic Poets: Wordsworth, Shelley, Coleridge, Keats, Byron and Shakespeare to name a few. I also like Francois Gautier, Sanjay Patel and of course, John Thompson, Sally Spedding, Steve Bowkett and I am reading and getting to know more and more writers all the time...

Meet the participants of the #LlandeiloBookFair / #LlandeiloLitFest: Siôn Tomos Owen

Today's interview guest is Siôn Tomos Owen, who will  be present at the #LlandeiloBookFair both days and who will also be reading from his work as part of the #LlandeiloLitFest on April 29th at 4pm at the Horeb Chapel, Cawdor Inn
Eventbrite - Siôn Tomos Owen reads from “Cawl”, his collection on Rhondda characters (Bi-lingual event)   
Welcome Siôn Please tell us about the books youll be bringing to the Book Fair.
Cawl (Parthian 2016)

Which genres do they belong to?

Welsh writing, short stories, essays, poetry, comics.

What are the characters and plots like?

The characters range from Disgruntled employees, new fathers, frustrated rugby players, the unemployed, The Welsh Mam and the disengaged electorate.

Tell us about your newest book. 

My book “Cawl” is an anthology of my creative work.  It’s a mix of short stories, bi-lingual poetry, essays and cartoons.  I tried to write it as an anthology of many voices but by one author.  The central piece is a retelling of Rhydwen Williams’ “In Praise of a Valley” and a autobiographical graphic short story about the birth of my daughter.

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

Cawl, not only because it’s my debut but because it is exactly the type of book I wanted to produce. a complete pic n mix of the different type of creative endeavours.

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

They are great toilet books because you can dip into them and enjoy a short story, poem or cartoon without having to fully commit to a proper sit down read.

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

I was performing at Poems and Pints night at The Queens, Carmarthen and was asked whether i would like to take part in the event.  Initially I decided to hold a stall to sell my caricatures and artwork but now I’m also part of the festival which is a nice mix!

Do you have a special connection to Wales?

I am grounded in the roots of Wales like the Japanese knotweed in it’s back gardens.

What is your personal background?

I was brought up a first language Welsh in the Rhondda. I consider myself a creative polymath and strive to creating things, whether it's writing, art, cabinets or a mess. I studied Illustration at Glamorgan Centre for Art, Design and Technology before going on to study Creative Writing and Media at Trinity College, Carmarthen.
I’m a cartoonist, writer, tutor and recently the presenter of Pobol y Rhondda, a S4C Welsh language documentary series on the Rhondda Valleys,the second series of which starts on 23rd of March 2017. My Book Cawl”, a mix of short stories, bilingual poetry, essays, and comics, was published by Parthian in October 2016.  I am also working on a trilingual anthology of work, The Valley, The City, The Village, with Indian and Welsh writers via a cultural exchange funded by Wales Arts International and the British Council to be published by Parthian and Bee Books in 2018.
I live with my wife and daughter in Treorchy, Rhondda.

Who are your favourite authors?

Will Eisner, Art Spiegelman for comics.
Mikhail Bulgakov, Jeannete Winterson, Cynan Jones for novels.
Owen Sheers, Rhian Elizabeth, M.A.Oliver-Semenov, Frank O’Hara for poetry.
Tyler Keevil, Rachel Trezise, Gwyn Thomas for short stories.

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

@sionmun on Twitter