Since I started to think about the details of what I was going to write in my first novel, it became very clear to me that I’d have to include Wales in the story somewhere.
I think that Dragons are fantastically cool and have done for years. I’m not sure if that was driven specifically by the image of the Welsh flag or from another reason from literature or film but the end point is the same. I was quickly convinced that any story that was to include Dragons had to be set, in at least some part, in Wales.
Wales has a wonderfully rich history of story telling stretching back through the ages, dealing with all manner of topics which have made generations of readers stride gleefully through the clouds of the imagination. The landscape of the country holds so many types of geography and can experience different types of weather that can make those features even more beautiful or terrifying, it has allowed me the chance to consider so many possibilities in terms of narrative. Mountainsides or coastal cliffs, valleys or urban areas of so many sizes and ages are all within this small but perfectly formed nation.
But most importantly for where I ended up taking the story I wrote, Wales is an old country, rich in history. When I was creating the ancient mythology of the characters I was able to look at the chances of the country holding all manner of creatures and peoples. I was able to find locations throughout the country where I was able to stage so much of the action because there has been so much history here. We’ve got very old ruins all over the place which are known in history but do we really know everything? Was there really an ancient Area 51 where all manner of creatures were involved in who knew what. Wales has so much to offer in terms of the settings for what I want to say it really did seem like a no-brainer to have the action take place ‘at home’.
I do think that I may be somewhat biased when it comes to the merits of my home country but, you know what, I don’t mind. My novel isn’t written as a love letter to Wales but it is there to say that you should never judge a book by its cover. Wales is a small country filled with some of the most beautiful countryside on Earth but don’t think that is where it stops. When you read The Circle of Fire it will introduce you to a world that is there, just under the surface, and has been there for generations,