Monday, 17 August 2015

Guest Post & Giveaway - T.A. Williams on What does Cornwall Means to Me? - Cornish Week

I am delighted to welcome T.A. Williams to Rachel's Random Reads today, as part of my Cornish Week. He has decided to tell us what Cornwall means to him.

Photo credit: Visit Cornwall, Matt Jessop
I consider myself very fortunate to have been born and brought up in England’s Westcountry. I now live just outside Exeter and, for me, Cornwall is less than an hour’s drive from here. As a little boy, growing up, we used to go for family holidays to the north Cornish coast, and it was there that I developed a love of surfing and a love for the county of Cornwall. 

   A little bit of history: when the Romans invaded England 2000 years ago, they fought their way westwards and got as far down as the Cornish border and there they stopped, faced with the barren wilderness of Bodmin Moor and the ferocious defence put up by the Celtic tribes living there. Then five centuries later, after the Romans had left, the Saxons invaded, but they, too, stopped when the going got tough. The main problem nowadays is another invasion: this time from people snapping up properties to use as second homes, raising house prices to an unaffordable level for many locals. Cornwall and the Cornish remain a fiercely independent people, proud of their heritage. They still have a language although, let’s be honest, it’s not exactly being spoken by a load of people. In the 2011 census 557 people claimed it as their main language (but that may have been as a result of too much St Austell ale). Still, it is a symbol of the pride that the Cornish feel for their land. 

   So, what is their land? The north Cornish coast is rough and rugged with ferocious reefs, imposing granite cliffs and immaculate sandy beaches.
Photo Credit: Visit Cornwall, Adam Gibbard
    The south coast, while still rocky, is softer and more welcoming, with fishing villages and harbours.
Photo Credit: Visit Cornwall, Adam Gibbard

When I was looking for a setting for my latest book, What Happens in Cornwall…, I chose the south coast and I located an island there. Rock Island doesn’t exist in reality, but is a composite of St Michael’s Mount, Burgh Island and King Arthur’s Castle at Tintagel. On the island is a luxury millionaire’s residence, housing a camera-shy celebrity. On the mainland, in Tregossick, the paparazzi are lurking, struggling to handle full English breakfasts every morning and six pints of Old Bastard every evening in the Smugglers Arms. This little village is also invented, but it draws upon a number of little seaside villages along the south Cornwall coast. The muddle of little cottages and a pub are squeezed onto a strip of shore between the beach and the cliffs and in front of them, 500 yards out, is the island.

The book is all about Sam(antha). She’s 30; brainy, beautiful, but unhappy. Alongside her is her best friend, Becky, whose search for a man (preferably a millionaire with an awesome body) is getting ever more desperate. Together, they travel to Rock Island to search for treasure. As the book progresses, Sam finds herself suffering the unwelcome attentions of one handsome professor, while the other handsome man in her life remains cold and aloof. It isn’t easy, even if the scenery is gorgeous, the cider cool, the seafood delightful and the (inevitable in my books) black Labrador on the island adorable.  

I had a lot of fun writing What Happens in Cornwall… and I hope anybody who happens upon it enjoys reading it as much as I did writing it.

Author Bio:
My name is Trevor Williams and I'm a man. I thought I'd better point that out as my books are designated by my publisher variously as "Women's Fiction" or "Chicklit". I write under the androgynous name of T A Williams in the hope that prospective readers won't be put off by the fact that I am in reality a bald old man. I have been writing for many years, but it's only in the last couple of years that I have found my niche, writing romantic comedy. I live in a little Devon village with my Italian artist wife. When I can tear myself away from the computer, I ride my bike or spend time in the garden, principally removing fox poo in summer and feeding the pheasants in winter. 

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Giveaway to win an e-copy of What Happens in Cornwall (open internationally)

T.A. Williams and Carina  have kindly offered readers of Rachel's Random Reads a chance to win an e-copy of What Happens in Cornwall, his latest book. 

Giveaway open to everyone, all options are voluntary, but please do what they ask, as I will be verifying the winner. Giveaway closes 23:59 26/8/2015. Winner will be announced on twitter and emailed, and they will need to reply within 7 days, or forfeit the prize, and I will re-draw for a new winner.  Good luck everyone.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you very much Trevor for the giveaway and very interesting post, and for getting my Cornish Week off to such a great start.

My review of What Happens in Cornwall will be posted shortly. 


  1. Love the sound of this book set in my favourite place in the world! Yes, I admit I was born and grew up there :) Angela Britnell

    1. Glad you are loving the sound of this book, and thank you very much Angela for supporting my Cornish Week

  2. Looks like a great read, and set in Cornwall where I live! great giveaway! xx

    1. It really is a great read. Good luck in the giveaway Rachel


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