Where The Heart Is – Llandeilo Lit Fest Discussion Of Welsh Community In Fiction

C P Davies will appear at the Llandeilo Lit Fest in a discussion with fellow novelist Kathy Biggs, exploring the meaning of community in Wales and how to capture the life of a community in prose. The event will take place Sunday, 28 April 2024, 13:00-14:00 at Capel Horeb 70 Rhosmaen Street Llandeilo, Wales, SA19 6EN; tickets will cost £6.

Last of the Summer Wine with a touch of The Wicker Man, Davies’ debut novel, Trecadno, is at once a light-hearted comedy of local manners and a suspenseful page turner. When Londoner John departs the big city for rural West Wales, he hopes that the village of Trecadno will afford him some peace and quiet. But Trecadno doesn’t get much fresh blood, let alone that most exotic of specimens… an Englishman.

Playful, subversive, and minutely observed, the novel toys with the reader’s expectation until its final chapter. Davies’ pitch-perfect ear for dialogue brings to life characters who, for many of us in Wales, might be just outside the door (or indeed, inside the house).

Christine has long been intrigued by the secrets that such seemingly sleepy villages might hold. As she explains:

“Driving through rural Wales, you sometimes come across villages that have barely changed since the nineteenth century. On a summer’s afternoon many years ago, I passed through one of them and was struck by the stillness, the complete lack of people. Yet life went on there: villagers went back and forth to church, school, work… Beneath the quiet exterior of a place, all manner of schemes and subterfuges might be going on. This led me to dream up my own little Welsh town, loosely based on places near my home, including Llansaint and Kidwelly.”

Davies knows something of what she speaks, having grown up in the Carmarthenshire town of Burry Port, then relocating for a career in England before returning to Wales to raise a family. Her partner for the event, Kathy Biggs, similarly draws on a perspective that is both insider and outsider, having moved to Wales from Yorkshire back in the 1980s. Biggs’ novel Scrap explores friendship and second chances in a scrapyard in Swansea.

The opportunity to hear from two emerging voices on the Welsh literary scene promises an engaging and insightful event for both readers and writers, exploring one of the fundamental challenges – and pleasures – of the novel: capturing an authentic sense of place, peopled with believable characters.

This is only one of the events on the exciting programme at this year’s Llandeilo Lit Fest. Running from the 26th to the 28th of April, it will see authors, publishers, bookbinders and musicians descend upon the picturesque Carmarthenshire village for a variety of events. Since its founding in 2016, the festival has gone from strength to strength, attracting authors from Wales’ leading publishers, and sponsorship from the Books Council of Wales. Copies of Davies’ and Biggs’ books will be available from Hengwrt, the festival’s primary venue.

Further information on the Llandeilo Lit Festival is available here:

https://www.llandeilolitfest.org/

Further information on the CP Davies event is available here: https://www.llandeilolitfest.org/programme/community-in-novels