ASSEMBLY MEMBER Elin Jones was one of the main inspirations behind a new novel by a local Aberystwyth author, it has been revealed.
The Morlan centre in Aberystwyth was packed last week when over a hundred people came to listen to a conversation between Elin Jones AM, the reviewer Catrin Beard and local author Dana Edwards.
The three were there to discuss the inspiration and background behind Dana’s new Welsh language novel, ‘Pam?’
‘Pam?’ tells the story of Pam, Gwennan and Rhodri as they leave university and make their way in the world during the tumultuous decade that leads to the establishment of the Welsh Assembly.
But the three share a secret. As they begin to enjoy the status and privilege that comes from successful careers, what happened in Aberystwyth threatens to destroy everything.
The novel is set during the late 90s – the era of establishing the National Assembly in Cardiff, dramatic elections, and the growth of Welsh media in the form of Radio Ceredigion.
Dana explained that she chose to set the novel during the 90s because it was ‘a hopeful time, where there was a real feeling that it was possible to change society through the activism and enthusiasm of ordinary people’.
To reflect the nostalgia of the period old pop classics from the 90s were played during the evening and old issues of the contemporary magazine Golwg were placed around the hall.
It was noted that there was an element of the career of Elin Jones in the form of the main character, Pam, with both having been elected as local councillors and both having previously been a part of Radio Ceredigion.
“It was never my intention to write the life story of Elin Jones,” says Dana. “But of course Elin’s success, like many other women who secured a seat in the first Assembly, was an inspiration.”
Elin Jones AM said: “A brilliant crowd came to launch Dana Edwards’ new novel in the Morlan on a wonderful summer’s evening in Aberystwyth. I enjoyed the conversation with Dana and Catrin Beard – and to stress the point once more, I am not Pam!”
This is Dana’s second novel, following the success of her English language novel, ‘The Other Half’, and it was chosen as the Welsh Books Council Book of the Month for August.