Matt Johnson and Alis Hawkins will be at Wokingham Library on Wednesday 4 March at 2.30pm to share their secrets of writing crime as well as signing books and answering questions during Wales Week Berkshire.
Wales Week Berkshire brings people together to celebrate the history, culture, beauty, heritage, community and businesses of Wales annually during 22nd March and 8th February.
Matt Johnson lives and works in Monmouth. He served for 25 years as a soldier and Metropolitan Police officer. His debut novel Wicked Game – a crime thriller – was published by Orenda Books in March 2016. The sequel Deadly Game, was published March 2017 and the final part of the trilogy, End Game, in 2018.
Wicked Game was listed for a Crime Writers Association Dagger award, has topped Amazon and KOBO charts in several categories and in 2018, Matt was voted at #22 in the WH Smith UK national poll of the world’s top 100 best-ever crime writers.
Peter James, the international best-selling novelist said of Matt’s work – “Terse, tense and vivid writing. Matt Johnson is a brilliant new name in the world of thrillers.”
Sir Ranulph Fiennes said of Matt’s books “From the first page to the last, an authentic, magnetic and completely absorbing read.”
Matthew Hall, BAFTA winning writer of TV Drama ‘Keeping Faith’ said “Johnson is a natural. Taut, knife-edge thrillers, you won’t put down until the last full stop.”
In 1999, Matt was retired from the police with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Whilst undergoing treatment, he was encouraged by his counsellor to write about his career and his experience of murders, shootings and terrorism. His novels are the result of that process.
Alis Hawkins grew up on a dairy farm in Cardiganshire. Her inner introvert thought it would be a good idea to become a shepherd and, frankly, if she had she might have been published sooner.
As it was, three years reading English at Oxford revealed an extrovert streak and a social conscience which sent her off to train as a Speech and Language Therapist.
She has spent the subsequent three decades variously working in a burger restaurant, bringing up two sons, working with homeless people and helping teachers and families to understand their autistic children. And writing. Always. Nonfiction (autism related), plays (commissioned for production in heritage locations) and, of course, novels.
Initially fascinated by the medieval period, she began her crime and mystery career at Pan Macmillan with a historical novel set during the fourteenth century then fast-forwarded to West Wales in the nineteenth century to fulfill a long-held desire to write a book based on Wales’s best kept historical secret: the Rebecca Riots. But she fell in love – both with nineteenth century west Wales and her characters – and the result is the Teifi Valley Coroner crime series featuring visually impaired investigator, Harry Probert-Lloyd, and his chippy assistant, John Davies.
As a side-effect of setting her series in Ceredigion, instead of making research trips to sunny climes like more foresighted writers, she drives up the M4 to see her family.
Now living with her partner on the Welsh/English border, Alis speaks Welsh, collects rucksacks and can’t resist an interesting fact.
Fun fact: In 1977, Alis was the winner of the under 16s stockjudging competition at the Cardiganshire Federation of Young Farmers Rally. She loves cows …