W is for Wales. Shwmae. Noswaith dda. And pretty much my Welsh fails me after that. About the only other thing I can say is Hoffwn cwrw os gwelwch yn dda, which is about all I need to say! (I’m I’m sure I mangle that ch sound which to me sounds like Klingon. Scratch that, Klingon is easier to say. And oh, I can say wedi blino because I always am).
I can’t say when my interest in Wales started but I’m sure it was when I was young. It probably had to do with King Arthur and the red dragon. Oh, and my actual surname is Welsh, and in fact is about the fourth most common surname in Wales.
Whatever it was, I’ve had a live long interest in Wales. Back in my SCA days my name was an amalgam of Italian (which I am) and Welsh (of which I have not a genetic trace) so it’s been decades running on my interest in Wales. I always wanted to learn the language which is notoriously difficult and my university is the only Welsh language preservation center in the States. What I have learned is I blow at learning new languages. Snort. I did get to go to Wales to research the standing stones as the Madog Fellow. I hope to go again some day. I loved Wales. I got to travel from Cardiff all the way up to Ynys Mon. Lovely country.
Wales and Welsh characters pepper my writing. In Kept Tears Rhys is a Tylwyth Teg, a type of Welsh fairy because I wanted to do something a little different as far as paranormal fiction is concerned you know thinking out of but pressed right up against the box. While Rhys doesn’t bring a ton of Welshness with him, he does at least introduce people to Welsh folklore beyond the Arthurian.
Caleb Davies, the leader of my 1930s demon hunting team, in Soldiers of the Sun is also from Wales. He had a much stronger Welsh voice but still not that particularly strong since it’s set in America. I had a short story set in Wales but that one just didn’t quite worth, probably because I was aiming for contemporary fiction and it’s not my joy.
I did, however, succeed with one contemporary short story set in Wales, The Light of Winter which I’ve talked about before, Warun the doctor and his druid professor boyfriend, Gareth. I did get to showcase some of the more exciting (to me) parts of my Welsh trip. I hope I did the Welsh culture right with it.
I’ll leave you with the links to find some of my Welsh-flavored stories. Hwyl.