Festival Organisers

Festival Chair, Philip Gwynne Jones

Philip Gwynne Jones was born in Swansea and grew up in South Wales. He spent twenty years in the IT industry before realising he was congenitally unsuited to it. Inevitable, then, that he should find himself as webmaster for the festival website! He now works as a writer and translator. He lives in Venice with his wife Caroline, and a modestly friendly cat called Mimì.

He enjoys cooking, classic horror films and listens to far too much Italian progressive rock.

His first novel, “The Venetian Game”, was a Waterstones Thriller of the Month, and a Times Top 5 bestseller.  “The Venetian Candidate”, the seventh book in the Nathan Sutherland series, is now available.


Festival Organiser, GB Williams

GB Williams specialises in complex, fast-paced crime novels. 

Crime Cymru member and secretary, GB spent years working as a systems architect before giving up the commute to become a freelance structural editor and writer.  In 2014 her short story was shortlisted in the CWA Margery Allingham Short Mystery Prize. That story, Last Shakes, is now available in the short story collection Last Cut Casebook.

Her series The Locked Trilogy follows the life of Charlie Bell and takes the reader into unusual territory with settings including a prison and a bank raid.  The Chair is set between Cader Idris and London and shows how life never works out quite the way one expects, and that we all have to fight for what we believe in.  

Always active in the writing community, GB is also a member of the CWA and became the CWA Library Champion for Wales in October 2021.

GB is currently working on a two-book deal, more of which will be announced when it can be. She has an alter-ego writing steampunk with a criminal twist.

Born and bred in Kent, GB moved to South Wales where she still lives with her family and the world’s most demanding cat. And she hates every photo ever taken of her, yes including the one on this website.

Find out more at www.gailbwilliams.co.uk

Treasurer, Sarah Ward

Sarah Ward is a contemporary crime writer whose new series is set in Pembrokeshire close to where she spent her childhood. The first book in the series, The Birthday Girl is published in April 2023. She also writes Gothic historical thrillers under the name Rhiannon Ward. Her first, The Quickening, was a 2020 Radio Times book of the year and her second historical novel The Shadowing was a Daily Express critic’s favourite of the year. She has also written Doctor Who audio dramas. Sarah is on the Board of the Crime Writers Association and is an Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Sheffield University.

More about Sarah at https://crimepieces.com

Media Liaison, Bev (B.E.) Jones

Beverley Jones is a former journalist and police press officer, now a novelist and general book obsessive.

Bev was born in a small village in the South Wales valleys, north of Cardiff. She started her journalism career with Trinity Mirror newspapers, writing stories for The Rhondda Leader and The Western Mail, before becoming a broadcast journalist with BBC Wales Today TV news, based in Cardiff.

She has worked on all aspects of crime reporting (as well as community news and features) producing stories and content for newspapers and live TV.

Most recently Bev worked as a press officer for South Wales Police, dealing with the media and participating in criminal investigations, security operations and emergency planning.

Perhaps unsurprisingly she channels these experiences of ‘true crime,’ and her insight into the murkier side of human nature, into her dark, psychological thrillers set in and around South Wales.

Her novels Where She Went, Halfway and Wilderness, are published by Little Brown (under the name BE Jones), whilst her most recent thriller, The Beach House (as Beverley Jones), is available now.

Wilderness is currently being turned into a TV series by Firebird Pictures for Amazon Prime, starring Jenna Coleman and Oliver Jackson Cohen and will hit the screens in 2023.

Chat with Bev on Goodreads.co.uk under B E Jones or Beverley Jones and on Twitter; @bevjoneswriting

Bev is represented by The Ampersand Agency.

Mentor and Advisor, Dr Jacky Collins

Dr Jacky Collins aka Dr Noir, formerly Senior Lecturer at Northumbria University in Literature, Film & TV and Spanish Language & Culture, is currently based at Stirling University. In 2014 Jacky established the International Crime Fiction Festival that is Newcastle Noir. More recently, she has been venturing into local radio, co-hosting a fortnightly crime fiction programme on SpiceFM, hosting on-line literary events with the Honey & Stag events team, and is part of the Corylus Books team, a new indie publisher of crime fiction in translation: from Romania, Iceland and beyond.

translator, Alison Layland


Crime Cymru member and festival website translator, Alison Layland is a writer and translator, and has told herself stories for as long as she can remember, though she first started writing them down for others to share when she moved to Wales in 1997 and a Welsh language course led the way to creative writing classes. She won the short story competition at the National Eisteddfod in 2002.

 Alison studied Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic at Cambridge University, and after a brief spell as a taxi driver worked for several years as a Chartered Surveyor before returning to her first love – languages. Translating German, French and Welsh, her published translations include a number of award-winning and best-selling novels.

 She is the author of two psychological thrillers: Someone Else’s Conflict, a compelling narrative of storytelling and the aftermath of war, featured as a Debut of the Month on the LoveReading website, and Riverflow, a story of family secrets and community tensions against a background of flooding and environmental protest, chosen as Waterstones’ Welsh Book of the Month in August 2019; both are published by Honno Press.

Find out more about Alison at https://www.alayland.uk/. 


Newsletter editor, Chris Lloyd

Chris Lloyd lived in Catalonia for twenty or so years, where he taught English before working in educational publishing and then translating. He’s also lived in the Basque Country and Madrid, as well as Grenoble in France – where he researched the French Resistance movement – and has now settled in his native South Wales, within a shiver of the Brecon Beacons.

A writer and translator, he has contributed pieces to anthologies of translated literature. His writing career began with travel books about various parts of Spain and France before he finally plucked up the nerve to take on writing crime fiction. In 2010, he was awarded a Literature Wales bursary, which allowed him to spend time in Catalonia researching for the Elisenda Domènech series, featuring an officer in the devolved Catalan police force in the beautiful city of Girona.

The result of his lifelong interest in World War 2 and resistance and collaboration in Occupied France, The Unwanted Dead (Orion) is Chris’s first novel set in Paris, featuring Detective Eddie Giral. The series will see Eddie negotiate his way through the Occupation, trying to find a path between resistance and collaboration, all the time becoming whoever he must be to survive the ordeal descended on his home.


Winifred Davies

Winifred Davies is emeritus professor of German at Aberystwyth University. She is bilingual in Welsh and English and studied French, German and Spanish at university. After graduating, she lectured in Mannheim, Heidelberg, Manchester and Aberystwyth before retiring in 2018, She was brought up in Harlech but has lived in Aberystwyth for over thirty years. She does not write crime fiction but is an avid consumer of it.

Jacqueline Harrett

Born in Northern Ireland, Jacqui has settled in Cardiff with her husband, a cat with OCD and a bad-tempered tortoise called Speedy. Her grown up children live close by and attempt to keep her in check – with varying degrees of success. A former teacher with a passion for oral storytelling, she has also written books for teachers and published collections of short fiction in anthologies and on line. 

Jacqui is published by Diamond Crime with a classic police procedural, “The Nesting Place”, introducing South Wales detective, D.I. Mandy Wilde.


Sarah Todd Taylor

Sarah Todd Taylor was brought up in Yorkshire and Ceredigion, where she now lives. Inspired by a life lived with cats she created the Max the Detective Cat series of mystery books for 7 to 9 year olds. This series, set in the theatres of 1920s London, drew on Sarah’s experiences of treading the boards on the Welsh stage. Her Alice Éclair : Spy Extraordinaire books are an espionage series for 9-12 year olds set against the backdrop of inter-war 1930s Paris. They follow the adventures of a talented young pâtissière who is also France’s youngest spy as she chases down secret plans and foils the kidnapping of French agents.

 When not writing, Sarah likes to spend time with her guinea pigs or sing opera. 


G J Williams

G.J. Williams is a Welsh woman raised in England.  She grew up in Somerset in a Welsh-speaking family and surrounded by a love of history, adventure and reading. She was also inspired by her primary teacher – a Welshman called Gerry Williams – who encouraged her to write, put on plays and also talks about history to her schoolmates. Her first play was about Betsy Cadwallader – the Welsh lady with a lamp in Crimea. 

After studying for a doctorate in Scotland, she embarked on a career as a business psychologist for city firms. But while navigating the corporate world, G.J. Williams found an escape her first passion – writing tales of murder, mystery and intrigue. Her psychology background melded with a love of medieval history, draws her to the twists and turns of the human mind, subconscious powers and the dark-side of people who want too much.

She now lives between Somerset and London and is regularly found writing on a train next to a grumpy cat and a bucket of tea. There are five completed novels in her computer, all linked to Welsh history and characters. Her debut novel, The Conjuror’s Apprentice is published through Red Door Books and is also available through The Book Depository and Amazon.