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Get to know author, Alun Ffred

Get to know author, Alun Ffred

At the 2023 Llŷn ac Eifionydd National Eisteddfod, Alun Ffred won the Daniel Owen Memorial Award for the best novel.  The novel, 'Gwynt y Dwyrain', is a detective story, and Alun’s first novel.

Alun is now retired, but he was previously a Member of the Senedd for Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Government's Heritage Minister.  Before that, Alun scripted and directed television programmes, including the popular comedy drama C'mon Midffild.

Where do you live and where are you originally from?

I live in Dyffryn Nantlle, the slate-quarrying area, near the village of Llanllyfni.

I was born in Brynaman, Carmarthenshire, a coal-mining village at that time, but I grew up in Llanuwchllyn near Lake Tegid in Meirionnydd.

Did you enjoy writing at school?

I liked to write long stories in English but I didn't win competitions after the age of eleven.  But I was reading all the time (including French on HP brown sauce bottles!).

Had you taken part in competitions before?

I’ve done very little competing.  I competed in the National Eisteddfod a long time ago - but not with a novel - and was placed in the third class.  And I'm sure the adjudicator was right!

What inspires you to write?

I will usually write opinion or factual pieces.  All kinds of things fuel the desire; politics, people, books, sport.  Anything really.

What time are you most likely to write?

The most important thing is to have peace and quiet, so morning is better than night.  And the mind is more alert.  But I'm not very good at getting up in the morning!

What would be your advice to someone who wants to start writing creatively?

Although you don’t have to, a writing course does remind you of some of the important basics - such as characterisation, plot and so on.

Are there any books in the pipeline?

No, but I have ideas in my head.  Unfortunately, they’re not much use up there!