Herefordshire author takes inspiration from home landscape

Wednesday 19th February 2020 11:47 am
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Growing up in Herefordshire and moving back to live in the Wye Valley after a spell in London inspired popular author Matthew Hall and he told the Ross Gazette that the landscape of the Wye Valley features in many of his books.

The writer who shot to fame as the man behind the spectacularly popular Keeping Faith drama series said that he had lived in the area for many years and when he started writing novels, after a successful time writing screen plays, he was determined to set them in the local area.

His latest project The Black Art of Killing has also been inspired by his time attending Hereford Cathedral School. The father of one of his school friends had been a member of the SAS and was trying to leave that life behind. The novel, which is due to rereleased in April, features a character who explores what happens next after 20 years in the army.

Creating well rounded characters is what Matthew believes helped make Keeping Faith so successful.

He said she appealed to viewers because she was a real, normal woman, a woman who was funny with her friends, affectionate with her children, professional in her career and could be explosively angry, there were so many different shades to her charter which he said is like real life where we all have to switch gear several times a day.

The title was very appropriate as Matthew said he almost lost faith that the series would be made.

He said S4C really wanted to make the series but needed more investment, it was rejected as being too Welsh for an English audience and too English for a Welsh audience.

It was only when a French production company came on board that the project finally got off the ground.

Securing Eve Myles to play the lead was another reason for the success and she even learnt to speak Welsh to bring Faith to the TV screen.

Achieving a runaway success in the highly competitive world of television dramas is very unusual and for Keeping Faith it was a mix of a great script, a totally believable central character, fabulous music provided by Wales-based singer-songwriter Amy Wadge, as well as the stunning scenery but added to that had to be the determination by producer Pip Broughton to bring Matthew’s original idea to life.

See the full story in this week’s edition of the Ross Gazette, or subscribe to our online edition">here

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