Thursday, 4 October 2012

Author Interview and Giveaway - Gillian E. Hamer

I am delighted to introduce

Gillian E. Hamer

© Gillian Hamer

The Charter
G.E. Hamer (3 May 2012)
The legend of The Royal Charter is almost as famous as the story of the dead girl who wanders the cliffs at Point Lynas – a victim of the 1859 shipwreck.
After more than a decade away, Sarah Morton must return to her childhood home in Anglesey to bury her father. It’s her chance to say goodbye, and good riddance, to her past.
Yet her father leaves her a legacy. A letter. And a safe full of documents about the ancient shipwreck.
The Royal Charter had been carrying gold. Huge amounts of it. And her father’s death suddenly looks like murder.
Determined to discover the truth, Sarah is dragged into a dangerous journey, discovering she and the girl on the cliffs have more in common than she could ever believe.
Set along the dramatic and dangerous Anglesey coastline, The Charter is a story of greed and forgiveness – when the treasures of the past evoke the crimes of today.

Gillian has very kindly taken the time to talk about her book and has given a fascinating insight into what inspired her to write the story of The Charter.

Tell us about your novel The Charter.

The Charter is a crime thriller with a twist – an added paranormal thread with a dollop of historical fiction too!
I think it’s called mixed genre, and in terms of getting published down the traditional route that was The Charter’s downfall. Crime should be crime, ghost stories should stay separate. And no publisher wanted to take a risk, so I formed Triskele Books with other writers who were in the same position as me.
The Charter’s roots go way back to my childhood, scouring Red Wharf Bay for washed-up treasure with a family friend who owned a metal detector and had a passion for retelling local legends. Since then I've visited Llanallgo Church where the victims were buried, and spent a lot of time at Point Lynas and Moelfre researching the tragedy.
I felt the story of The Charter deserved more recognition, but I also wanted a way to bring it full circle into the modern day.
When I wrote the novel, I had no ideas about mixed genre, or any preconceptions about getting it published. I just wrote the story I’d had in my head for many years.

What inspired you to become an author?

In truth I'm not sure I ever felt inspired by any one thing. I've always loved to read. I started with Enid Blyton at a very young age, and then moved on to read every Agatha Christie in our local village library.
I always enjoyed English at school and moved into writing long stories as a hobby. In fact, my earliest claim to fame was winning a Blue Peter Competition when I was eleven, and to win I had write an episode of Grange Hill. I have a photograph somewhere of myself in the local newspaper but unfortunately I had mumps at the time and was absolutely terrified!
Writing has just been something I've always been able to do. However, it’s taken me the best part of a decade to get to this level and I'm still learning every day. It’s one thing to be able to write – it’s a totally different thing to get a book published. But I love every aspect of writing – from plotting to editing and everything in between.

Do you have a special place to do your writing?

Not one special place as I kind of move around a lot. I can write anywhere, even in front of the television if need be! Although I do like to write late at night in bed, when the house is silent and I can focus and let my mind go. I lose hours when I'm writing, and it’s a really odd sensation.
But I do prefer to do most of my thinking and plotting and researching at our cottage up on Anglesey. I have a small study with a beautiful view that, whatever the weather, never fails to inspire me.

What are you writing next?

My next book with Triskele Books is another crime and paranormal mix based on and around Anglesey called, Closure, and will be released on 1st December 2012.

Sneak peek of the back cover blurb below:

            Helen West is coming to terms with her husband’s death and trying to cope with her six-year-old son’s grief. Jake suffers from nightmares, and visions of what he calls his ‘other life’. He talks about a boy called Jacob and a place known only as ‘the island’.
Helen’s journey to find the source of Jake’s torment leads them to North Wales, where the university town of Bangor is in lockdown following a series of student abductions.
When Jake’s nightmares start to mirror the abductions, Helen begins to believe her son might have second sight. But what could Jake’s ‘island’ possibly have to do with these crimes? And how can they help without putting their own lives in danger?
It seems that decision will be Jake's alone.

Set along the beautiful North Wales coastline, Closure is a story of belief, revenge and repercussions of the past.

And finally for fun....What books are on your bedside table?

I always have a huge reading backlog! I have MargaretAtwood’s, Blind Assassin and the latest Philippa Gregory ready to read. And I'm also really looking forward to J K Rowling’s new novel as I was a massive Harry Potter fan! At the moment, I'm reading a novel by a new author – A Parachute inthe Lime Tree by Annemarie Neary.

While I used to read predominantly crime, I've now spread my wings a little and have discovered some really fascinating authors over the years. I think every writer must be an avid reader; it’s a constant source of inspiration. Not to mention when reading really good writing, it ignites something inside me that really fires me up to improve my own writing.

Gillian - Thank you so much for taking the time to visit jaffareadstoo, and for all your insightful answers to our questions. We wish you much success in your writing career, and are already looking forward to reading your next book Closure, when it is published in December 2012.

Gillian has very generously offered to give a kindle ecopy of her book The Charter to one lucky winner of this week's giveaway.

International giveaway is open to all.

Here is my 5***** review of The Charter

Sarah Morton returns to the Anglesey village of Moelfre to attend her father’s funeral, and as she goes back to the brooding house on the edge of the cliffs, she begins to realise that long buried secrets threaten, not just the present, but also the past. Beautifully written, this story literally bounds along at top speed, there is never a lull in the narrative as with expert skill the author combines historical legend, with a modern day murder mystery. The Charter works so well on all levels, the historic legend of the Royal Charter forms the basis of the story, but the present day murder mystery is equally compelling, and just as absorbing. The rapport with the characters is instantaneous, they are so finely drawn you can almost imagine them as people you know, and as the gradual layering of the present and the past combine, the stark truth begins to emerge of lives ruined by grief and despair.

With the author’s fine attention to detail, the stark coastal beauty of Anglesey comes gloriously alive. The legacy of the shipwreck lives on, and as the story unfolds, you can easily imagine that you are standing on the edge of the cliff path looking out over Dulas Bay, with the tang of salt and seaweed in the air, and the beleaguered ship, The Royal Charter, being tossed like a puppet in the churning waters of the Irish Sea.

It’s not often that a book comes along which covers all your favourite genres in one fell swoop, but, for me, The Charter is definitely one such book. Gillian Hamer writes with the passion of one who knows Anglesey well, and with great skill and imagination has turned this passion into a cracking good story.

I look forward to reading more novels from this talented author


  1. Triskele Books are certainly coming up trumps, Josie! I love the sound of this and already have it on the wishlist. Nice review.

    1. Hi Treez - Thanks for reading Gillian's interview. I agree about Triskele - I've had two great reads so far..

      Good Luck in the giveaway :)


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