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Author Rebecca Bryn

Rebecca Bryn lives in West Wales with her husband and rescue dog, where she paints the stunning coastal scenery in watercolour and writes mystery, historical, and dystopian thrillers with a twist.

Rebecca says ‘I didn’t set out to be a writer, but once drawn into the tempting and evocative theatre of fiction, I was hooked. I suppose the control freak in me ganged up with my artistic and creative temperament and conspired against my head, which was yelling don’t do it. You can’t do this.

‘The trouble is my heart told me otherwise and beguiled me with scenes and settings from my deepest desires, dreams, imagination, and nightmares. It drew out my darkest fears and fiercest pain, my fondest hopes and deepest loves, and bade me write them with an honest and truthful hand.

Interesting facts...

Tell us a Little about yourself.

I’m retired and live near the coast in West Wales with my husband. I love painting, gardening, and walking.

Tell us your latest news

I’ve just released the prequel to my Wales Rising series. It’s called Break It Down and sees my hero and heroine embroiled in the Luddite rebellion of 1812 in Yorkshire, England.

Have you ever finished reading a book (OR...been intrigued by a synopsis) and wished you could get to know one of the characters a little better? Well, you’re in luck. Get to know Rosie Taylor, from The Chainmakers’ Daughter --

Rosie Taylor, tell me a little about yourself.  Where are you from?  Is there anything you would like your fans to know about you that maybe wasn’t revealed in The Chainmakers’ Daughter?

I’m from the Black Country, in the West Midlands of England.

Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like?

I grew up in Hawley Heath, near Birmingham. Both my parents were chainmakers working for Matthew Joshua. Mom had a little chain shop with a forge, in the back yard. All the old terraced houses did. She worked from dawn to dusk, and I helped her. By the time I was eight and had left school, my tasks included getting the younger children ready for school, doing the family washing, and then making chain with Mom.

What makes Rosie so special?

There’s nothing special about me. I get up at four in the morning and work all day. Everyone does if they want to eat. Mom’s sometimes at her forge at three in the morning.

Tell me about your reputation and how it has impacted your life and your relationship.

I think I have a reputation for always wanting to do the right thing, and that has sometimes led to disaster. My determination to protest for women’s rights almost destroyed my marriage to Jack.

Do you have any regrets?  Is there anything you wished you had done differently?

Yes and no. I’ve done impetuous things that have hurt Jack, and I regret hurting him. But if I hadn’t gone under the bridge with Willis, the chainmaster’s son, I wouldn’t have my lovely Emma. If I hadn’t had Emma, Willis might still be alive. I don’t regret saving Jack’s life, but I do regret the pain I caused Marion and Matthew, Willis’s parents,

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I hope Emma and Hanne will have taken over the running of the factory, and the maternity home, and Jack and I will have an easier life.

What are your dreams for the future?

That the children will be happy, and the good works I’ve begun will be continued - there needs to be more kindness in the world, more consideration of others, less greed. It would atone for the harm I have caused.

If there was one thing you could change about your past, what would it be?

Not being able to tell Marion and Matthew about Willis’s death. They went for months without knowing where he was, and all the while, I knew he was at the bottom of the canal. But if I’d told them what had happened, would they have believed me? Would Jack or I have been hanged for Willis’s murder?

If you could go anywhere with one person, who would you take and where would you go?

I’d love Jack to take me to Scapa Flow. He was there for a while during the Great War when the Germans scuppered their fleet, and the islands sound hauntingly beautiful.

Describe something that happened to you for which you have no explanation.

Jack Taylor fell in love with me. I have no idea why. I brought him little but trouble.

What was the best compliment you have ever received?

‘You’re a good woman, Rosie Taylor.’

If you could have anyone locked in a room so that you could torment them for a day, whom would you choose and how would you torment them?

It might have been Willis for raping me and casting me aside, had I not bashed him over the head with a mooring pin when he was trying to drown Jack in the canal.

If you could reward someone with a special day, describe that day and tell us why.

It would have to be Jack for sticking by me through thick and thin. I think it would be the trip to Scapa Flow. His eyes mist over when he describes the stark silence of the islands. Chain making doesn’t go in much for silence.

Would you rather be ugly and live forever or attractive and die in a year?

Neither. Beauty is only skin deep, as they say, and time passes a person by and leaves them behind. The world doesn’t improve with keeping.

If you could go to anyone (living or dead) for advice who would it be and what would you ask?

I’d probably ask one of the psychopaths who are presently turning the world upside-down how to get rid of psychopaths.

What is the weirdest thing about you?  Are you proud of it or embarrassed? Have you been talking to Jack?
Mountains or Beach? Ooh. Mountains. Having lived my life in the Black Country, I’d like to be able to see no trace of mankind.

Who would you like to be stuck in an elevator with?

Well Jack, obviously.

If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three things would you want to take with you?

An axe, a knife, and a saucepan.

Will we be seeing more of you in the future or has your story already been told?

I romp through three novels with gay abandon. I think that’s probably enough. I shall retire gracefully.

If you could change one thing about the world… what would it be?

The lunatics running the asylum. So much could be achieved with more co-operation and less belligerent self-interest.

Tell us about your best friend and what makes them so special.

Well Jack, of course. He forgives me and loves me, no matter what.

Want to know more about Rebecca Bryn? Continue reading her in depth interview...

When and why did you begin writing?

I didn’t intend to. I’d been proof-reading for a friend for some while and just typed ‘Chapter One’ one day without a clue what I was going to write. I’ve been writing ever since.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I suppose when Touching the Wire – about the women of Auschwitz, won the IAN Book of the Year award in 2019. It was a hard book to research and write, and I’m very proud of it.

What inspired you to write your first book?

The state of the planet and the threat of climate change.

Do you have a specific writing style?

Readers say they feel as if they are right there alongside my characters and part of the ‘family’, so I suppose immersive?

How did you come up with the title for your last book?

Break It Down describes the destruction of the machinery that threw skilled textile workers into unemployment and starvation. Large sledgehammers, known as ‘Great Enochs’, broke the machines to pieces. The title also fits with Give Us This Day and Let Us Pass, the sequels.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

My research into the 1800s and 1900s uncovered the depth of inequality between rich and poor, the dreadful, cruel way in which the working class was exploited by the mill, mine, and foundry owners, and the way in which successive governments ignored their desperate pleas in the face of disease and starvation. I suppose the message is that without health, there is no working man and woman, and without the working class, there is no wealth in a nation. Governments would do well to remember that when they cut education and health spending.

How much of the book is realistic?

The characters are fictitious, but the events and settings are taken from mill records across the north of England, and are all too real.

Is there a story behind the creation of your newest release? Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Not really. It’s a prequel to the Wales Rising series, an exploration of the main characters pasts. The events in the sequels do sometimes reflect my own life experiences, like when Gwen wants to strangle Efa in Let Us Pass

What books have most influenced your life most?

Oddly, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.  I read it at a time in my life when reality was too much to bear. It gave me a different reality and kept me sane – well almost. I wish I could have thanked Douglas Adams for his alternative view on life.

Do you have a mentor that helped or encouraged you to follow your dream of writing?

Yes, absolutely. My long-time friend Sarah Stuart, author of the DCI Gerald Croft thrillers. has been at my side for every step.

What book are you reading now?

I’m taking time out to paint and frame some paintings for my art group’s summer exhibition, so I’m not reading at all at the moment.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

I love work by Eric Lahti, Nico Laeser, Senan Gil Senan, and Sarah Stuart, among others. All indie authors and great talents.

Do you see writing as a career?

More a hobby. At my age, I don’t want a career.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

I’ll have to ask my characters that. They wrote it.

Rebecca's Series

Whales Rising Series

The Chainmakers Series

For Their Country's Good Series

Additional Books

Can you share a sample of your current work with us?

Gwen suspects Efa of seducing her husband.

Gwen sat in the chapel with her head bowed, trying to garner the courage she’d found during the protests in Merthyr. Then, she’d been fighting the iron masters for a living wage, it was fight or starve – now she was fighting the trusts for an end to unfair tolls for the same reason. 

If Mr Lloyd Hall had thought his letter in the newspaper would put an end to Rebecca’s destructive behaviour, he was wrong. Reports came in daily of several groups’ activities. Rhos gate and tollhouse near Aberaeron had fallen to Rebecca on the twenty-third, and several more in the Newcastle Emlyn area had been pulled down within the next few days.

As fast as the gates were replaced, someone took them down again. The more people who travelled to market without being forced to pay tolls, the more Rebecca’s actions were toasted in public houses and her praises sung. The protests were far from over, and she would continue protesting if that’s what it took to get their voices heard, so why was she afraid of facing Efa? She trusted Sam.

She glanced sideways at Efa, who smirked at her and then smiled at Sam. 

Damn the woman, dressed in her summer Sunday best and showing too much bare skin – had she no shame?

She clenched her fists. She’d worried about Sam, doubted herself, cried over Efa trying to destroy her marriage, but now she was beyond tears; she was furious.

Dad ended the last prayer, and she ground out an amen. Feet shuffled, and people got up from their pews and began making their way to the door. She hurried outside, leaving Sam and the children behind. The chapel was a place of God, not the place to confront Efa.

Outside, however, was a different matter. She waited close to the door for Efa to appear. Her heart thudded; it was now or never.

‘Efa Lloyd.’

Efa smiled at her. ‘Gwenny. How nice to see you.’

Gwenny. That was Sam’s name for her. ‘My name is Gwenllian, Efa, and I’d appreciate it if you would stop trying to seduce my husband.’

‘Seduce?’ Efa laughed. ‘He took little seducing, as I recall.’

Heat flushed her cheeks, but inside she was icy cold. ‘What do you mean?’

‘It’s me Sammy loves, Gwenllian, not you.’

‘That isn’t true. Sam says you mean nothing to him. He told me so, and I trust him. Sam wouldn’t lie to me.’

‘He didn’t tell you we make love in the milking parlour, then? No, I suppose he wouldn’t.’

‘You’re lying.’ She was aware of a silent crowd gathering, but she didn’t take her eyes from Efa’s face.

‘Am I?’ Efa smiled again. 

God help her, but she’d wipe that supercilious smile from Efa Lloyd’s face, even if it cost Sam his job. She launched herself at Efa and grabbed her hair, pushing her backwards onto the ground. ‘I won’t let you wreck my marriage, and split my family, you evil, selfish bitch.’

‘Let me up! Stop it. Let me up!’

She banged Efa’s head on the hard earth and put one hand on the girl’s throat; the other fisted in Efa’s hair and held her down. ‘Not until you promise to stay away from my Sam.’

‘Gwen. Stop it. Let her up before you hurt her.’

‘Hurt her? She’ll be lucky if I don’t kill her.’ She tightened her grip on Efa’s throat, making the trollop flail her arms and gasp for breath.

‘Gwen, please. We can talk about this.’

‘Talk, Sam? I’ve done talking. I won’t lose you to this… this piece of dirt.’

Efa was gasping, trying to say something. Perhaps she was ready to make her promise. She loosened her grip, and Efa stopped flailing and took a breath. ‘Gwen, let me up, please. Don’t hurt me. I’m pregnant.’

It took a moment for the words to register. ‘Pregnant?’ She couldn’t hurt a pregnant woman, no matter how much she hated her. She untwisted her fingers from Efa’s hair and removed her hand from her throat. ‘Pregnant?’

Efa coughed and sat up. ‘Yes, Gwenllian.’ Her face twisted into a mocking smile. ‘Yes, I’m pregnant, and it’s Sam’s baby.’

The world slowed. Voices became muted. Her heart threatened to stop beating. Slowly, she turned to face Sam. ‘Sam, is this true?’

Sam’s face was ashen. ‘No! At least, I don’t think so.’

Tears ran down her cheeks. ‘You don’t think so?’

‘Gwenny, I’m sorry.’

‘Sorry?’ She stood, fists clenched at her side, pain clenching her heart. ‘How could you do this to me? Seven years, I waited for you. Seven years and never looked once at another man, and you let this … hussy tempt you away from me. What about us, Sam? What about the children?’

‘I love you, Gwen.’

Dad put a strong arm around her shoulders. ‘Sam Davey, I warned you. You and our family are finished. Your possessions, such as they are, will be on the road outside the manse, later. Gwen, let’s get you and the children home.’

‘But where will Dad go, Mam?’ Delyth’s small voice broke her heart.

‘Sam’s children belong with him.’ Efa smiled again, a look of triumph. ‘With Sam and me and their new little brother. We have plenty of room at the farm. Come on, Sammy. You can fetch your children later.’

Sam’s eyes were bright with tears. He reached out for her hand. ‘Gwen, please … I’m so sorry.’

She couldn’t bear the guilt in his eyes any more than she could bear the agony in her heart. She snatched her hand away and turned and ran. She didn’t stop until she was home. Home? How could it be home without Sam and the children? Throwing herself on her bed, her and Sam’s bed, she sobbed out her broken heart.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Making myself do it – I prevaricate.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

JRR Tolkien. He builds great worlds.

Who designed the covers for your books?

I design them myself.

Does your work require a lot of research or do you just write what you already know?

A lot of research.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Do the research, take constructive criticism, and edit.

Do you remember the first book you read?

Probably Old Lob when I was about four.

What makes you laugh/cry?


Is there one person past or present you would like to meet and why?

Douglas Adams and John Denver for keeping me sane.

What do you want written on your headstone and why?

Up to now, she had a hundred percent success rate in survival.

One final question...Do you have a blog/website? If so, what is it?




Rebecca Bryn Books - BookBub


4 comments on “Author Rebecca Bryn”

  1. Pingback: Melanie Smith’s author spotlight. – Rebecca Bryn

  2. Rebecca Bryn Reply

    If you pre-decease me, I shall suggest it! I’m sure we’ve done worse over the years than giggle in a graveyard. Seriously, though, I pinched it from a notice on the wall of a psychiatric ward. It made a lot of sense in that context.

    • Rebecca Bryn Reply

      I should have said that the quote on the ward wall was ‘So far, I have a hundred percent success rate at surviving.’

  3. Sarah Stuart Reply

    Thank you, Rebecca, for mentioning me a couple of times in there. I knew most of it, but you did make me laugh aloud with the epitaph. It would be worth the expense of a headstone to pinch it, or it would if I could be sure of being a ghost who’d be around to watch people’s reactions. Giggling in a graveyard – not the done thing! 🙂

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