Dec 9, 2009

It’s Carmarthen – but not as we know it!


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The Carmarthen Underground by Gaynor Madoc Leonard front cover
A new humorous and whimsical novel published this week, The Carmarthen Underground, explores the possibility of an ‘alternative Carmarthen’ filled with secret agents, spies and thugs. Beneath the town’s busy streets lies the hub of a sophisticated organisation whose officers are dedicated to the protection of Wales and its people from ruthless predators who are determined to undermine the country, its language and its culture. But is there an enemy within? The agents of Carmarthen Intelligence must find out or risk all they and the veterans of the Battle for Wales have strived for.Author Gaynor Madoc Leonard was inspired by a quote in William Knox's book The Pan-Celtic Phrasebook (also published by Y Lolfa) which asks: “Is there an underground train in Carmarthen?”

“The ‘underground’ in the title doesn’t just apply to the train but to the organisation, Carmarthen Intelligence,” she explains, “which happens to be situated underground at Guildhall Square.”

“One day I just sat down at my computer and started typing. I had no idea what the story would be at the point, but I was talking to an author who repeated that well-known rule: ‘Write about what you know.’ I know Carmarthen! As the first chapter progressed, I realised that this would be an ‘alternative’ Carmarthen. On the face of it, everything would be familiar to anyone who knew the town but it would be Carmarthen with a twist.

“I wanted it to be amusing and not only to the inhabitants of the town or Welsh people in general. I hope that they will see that the book is written with affection for both Carmarthen and Wales. Perhaps it will make people look at the town with a new eye.”

Gaynor was born and brought up in Carmarthenshire, in a Welsh-speaking family. Despite spending most of her life in England, where she worked for some years in the City of London, she visits her home country regularly and has a particular love for the Towy Valley.






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