Alis Hawkins writes Victorian crime fiction – but not that kind. It’s set in west Wales and Oxford rather than London. There are no serial killers because Alis is keen on representing some kind of real life and most murders are committed by ordinary people. And policemen are mostly nowhere to be seen: if they are in evidence, they’re usually getting in the way.
Her plots are driven by her characters who take any idea Alis might have about the murder at the beginning of the book, and go off with it in whatever direction appeals to them, leaving her to follow, writing furiously. Her readers, who are gratifyingly fascinated by the little-known aspects of Victorian life that her characters investigate their way through, tell her that’s a good thing. Evidently the Crime Writers’ Association agrees because two of her four Teifi Valley Coroner novels have been shortlisted for the CWA’s prestigious Historical Dagger award.
A former speech and language therapist and current freelance writer and editor, Alis is a founder member of Welsh crime writers’ collective, Crime Cymru, chair of Wales’s only crime fiction festival, Gŵyl CRIME CYMRU Festival, and a member of the Society of Authors and the Crime Writers’ Association. She lives on the Welsh/English border in the Forest of Dean with her partner, and makes regular forays to west Wales and Oxford.