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.

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