The Hay Festival

Hay Festival 2016


I am always especially happy to be at the Hay Festival! I was there for the launch of Lady of Hay, thirty years ago almost to the day (28th May 1986, to be exact). We were in the Parish Hall and I was interviewed by Nicola Heywood-Thomas. Wonderfully Nicola was at Hay again to interview me on the BBC Arts Show this year on June 1st. Serendipity! 


I have been at the Hay Festival on many occasions over the years but this was a double pleasure:  To celebrate Lady of Hay's birthday and to launch my fourteenth novel, Sleeper's Castle.  Both books feature Hay Castle; in Lady of Hay my heroine Matilda de Braose builds the castle; in Sleeper's Castle Owain Glyndŵr knocks it down again (well, almost).  I hope Sleeper's Castle does even half as well as Lady of Hay which has been continuously in print for the whole 30 years, has sold more than 3 million copies (can't say I have counted, but that is what I am told) and appeared in at least 29 languages.  I'm quite proud of that!


There was a special early printing of Sleeper's Castle for those who came to the event last week, which sold out very fast. I was thrilled to see them disappear so quickly but sad that so many people were disappointed.  Our attempt to get extra copies rushed from London for the next morning was sadly thwarted by the courier company who, I gather, did not feel they could deliver over a bank holiday weekend (but failed to tell anyone the fact as by Saturday morning, when the books failed to appear, their office was closed as well). Incredibly frustrating as no one could discover where the books had gone. Bookshop, publisher and I were all livid. To put it mildly. And so sad for those of you to whom we had promised them. I can only apologise and say that we really did do our best to get them there.


However....   there will be plenty more on June 30th which is the official Publication Day.