Many people who know me will be know my wife and I have moved to north Wales. We now live in the stunningly beautiful village of Dolwyddelan, a few miles from Snowdon (or Yr Wyddfa, as we locals call it), the highest mountain in England and Wales. The picture shows our valley from its southern flank, with the local mountain (Moel Siabod) rising beyond to the north. I fell in love with the region while at university nearby, and fortunately my wife shares my passion so many years ago moving to Snowdonia became our long-term ambition.
Preparing for the move, moving, and finally unpacking have taken up all my time for the last month or so and left no time for writing. In addition, a two-week wait for broadband has successfully stifled my online presence.
Four of my historical novels have been set around around here – Andraste’s Blade, The Doe and the Dragon, The Footholder’s Tale, and The Faerie Handmaiden of Annwyn.
As well as providing a much, much better quality of life, I hope the move will give me more time and ideas for writing. I already know yomping over upland moor and along valley bottoms gives time for thinking about plots. There is also inspiration around the village, including a castle associated with Llywelyn the Great and a five-hundred-year-old church dedicated to the dark age Saint Gwyddelan, who the village is named after. Dolwyddelan also has its own dragon legend.
A few miles east lies the ‘Beaver Pool’ in the river Conwy (picture below). The pool is associated with a water monster, the afanc, and there are stories about how the beast terrorised the valley.