Over the past few months Triskele Books has been home to a series of author features. Now, it is our great pleasure to focus the spotlight on one of Triskele's founder members, Gillian E. Hamer.
Born in the industrial Midlands, Gillian's heart has always yearned for the wilds of North Wales and the pull of the ocean.
A Company Director for twenty years, she has written obsessively for over a decade, predominantly in the crime genre. She has completed six full length novels and numerous short stories.
After completing a creative writing course, she decided to take her writing to the next level and sought representation. She is a columnist for Words with Jam literary magazine, a regular theater goer and avid reader across genres.
She splits her time between Birmingham and a remote cottage on Anglesey where she finds her inspiration and takes long walks on deserted beaches with her Jack Russell, Maysie.
Here's a little snippet from a recent interview when Gillian was asked about writing crime:
Why did you decide to write in your chosen genre(s)?
In fairness I think the genre probably chose me! I’ve read crime fiction all my life, from the Enid Blyton books I loved as a child, through every Agatha Christie novel in the village library, and onto modern day writers like Ian Rankin. It was written that I would crime! And I’m very proud of my current Gold Detective series. However, location has a big part to play especially in my first three books (The Charter, Closure and Complicit) which I call my spooky thriller trilogy. It was Anglesey and its fantastic history that gave me the content for these novels, different in each, but also in each I wanted to mix a modern thriller with the historical aspects. It sounds odd, I know! But I think it works
So, what makes Gilliam such a valued member of Triskele Books?
Liza Perrat: Suspense is Gilly’s forte, in her page-turning crime thriller novels. She also has an incredible knack for creating baddies so scarily well that sometimes I wonder what’s going on in her mind! She has also brought to life the island of Anglesey (off the north-west coast of Wales), for me. So much so that it’s now at the top of my to-visit list.
I appreciate that Gillian takes care of the financial aspects of Triskele Books. It’s great to have someone you can totally trust with the finances, providing summaries and reports of all our financial dealings.
Gilly is also our SM girl. That’s social media in case you were wondering! She shares all our blog posts, images and comments across a wide range of social media. And not forgetting her excellent, multi-tasking skills during our fortnightly #triskeletuesday Twitter chats!
Finally, I highly value Gilly’s critiquing skills. If something isn’t working in my story, she’s not shy about letting me know. No false compliments, just the cold hard truth, which is what every author needs to produce their best work.
JD Smith: Gilly is a hugely valuable member of our team. She's committed, forward-thinking, determined and passionate about our collective.
She's also a talented writer of not only crime but historical fiction, and I admire her enthusiasm for periods in history such as the Roman era which are close to my own heart. I love the weave of these time periods in her books. It gives them an edge that I find so often lacking in popular crime stories.
Catriona Troth: Gillian’s books are set on the island of Anglesey in northwest Wales, which also happens to be where my mother’s family are from. Her books are interwoven with the history, geography and myths and legends of Ynys Mon (the island’s Welsh name), and every time I open the pages, I am swept back to the lanes around my grandmother’s house, to the rocky coasts, the treacherous straits that separate the island from the mainland.
But don’t be fooled by the picturesque rural location into thinking these are ‘cosy crime’ stories. These novels are as gritty as the island’s often bloody history, and she doesn’t shy away from portraying Anglesey’s present day problems with poverty and drugs.
In Gold Detectives, eschewing the crime fiction stereotype of the ‘lone wolf’ detective, Gillian has created an ensemble of characters, with their own strengths, weaknesses and quirks. This is a team of believable people we get to know and like, and each book in turn brings another of the team to the fore.
Gillian is the director of a small business, and within Triskele, she acts is our finance manager, holding the purse strings and bringing her business head to ensure that what we do brings a commensurate return. She is also our Social Media guru, managing our Twitter and Facebook pages and juggling (with surely more than just the usual ten fingers!) several accounts simultaneously as we hold our fortnightly #TriskeleTuesday twitter chats.
JJ Marsh: When first planning Triskele Books, the author collective, we knew we needed a lot more than good writing.
Triskele works just like a small business - you need vision, commitment, strategy, vision and financial nous. Gilly brings all this to the table in addition to a creative imagination.
She works hard at everything she does and insists we all reach as high as we ought. Her books are beautifully crafted, her critical analyses are spot on and she ensures we all pull our weight.
She's a rare individual - a sharp business mind with a deep well of imagination. We'd be lost without her.
What readers are saying about Gillian Hamer's crime books:
"Once again, Gillian Hamer brings ancient history to life with beautiful, lyrical imagery."
"When you love a book as much as I loved The Charter by Gillian Hamer, you always approach the next book with trepidation. I needn't have worried - her latest, Closure, is even better. It begins as two separate story threads - a serial killer targeting students at Bangor University, and the work of North Wales CID to track him down, and the seemingly disconnected story of Jake, a child experiencing horrifying dreams triggered by a past life. The stories converge as the pursuit of the killer heats up, and the story - a superb mix of police procedure and the mysteries of reincarnation - builds wonderfully set against the beautiful Anglesey setting. The author very deftly weaves the different elements together, with well-rounded characters and a masterful building of tension, with some tremendous nail-biting moments. I really couldn't put it down, a fantastic read. We get to know the police team even better in this book, and this has the makings of an excellent series of which I eagerly await the next episode."
"This is the second book I've read by this talented author. Like her first novel, The Charter, Gillian returns to the familiar territory of the rugged Anglesea coast.
This is a darker tale than Charter and, in many ways, a more complex one as well. We have two separate but intertwining stories. The first features Helen West and her six year-old son, Jake, who is suffering from terrible nightmares. But are they more than that? And how can the be linked to the series of killings in and around Bangor University.
With great skill, Gillian draws these two very different threads together and gives us an extremely satisfying crime story with a spooky twist in the tale.
Rich in atmosphere, dripping with suspense and full of memorable characters, this is one you won't forget in a hurry."
"What a great debut to a new series. As with all the author's previous books, I could not put this one down. I stayed up late finishing it and was not disappointed ... I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a well written mystery and also highly recommend her other three books. They won't disappoint."