Alis Hawkins grew up on a dairy farm in Cardiganshire. Her inner introvert thought it would be a good idea to become a shepherd and, frankly, if she had, she might have been published sooner. As it was, three years reading English at Corpus Christi College, Oxford revealed an extrovert streak and a social conscience which saw her train as a Speech and Language Therapist.
She has spent the subsequent three decades variously bringing up two sons, working with children and young people on the autism spectrum and writing fiction, non-fiction and plays. She writes the kind of books she likes to read: character-driven historical crime and mystery fiction with what might be called literary production values.
Having lived in various English cathedral cities, Alis now lives with her partner in the Forest of Dean. Interestingly, their first contact with their now-home was a research trip for The Black and The White into the techniques of medieval charcoal making. What Alis had assumed would be an interesting hour or two turned into a fascinating weekend and, having relocated to the Forest, she and her partner are now regular volunteers at the Dean Heritage Centre’s annual charcoal ‘earth burn’ in May.
The Black and The White is a psychological thriller – think The Talented Mr Ripley meets The Road – set during the Black Death and is the first of a trilogy.
Sapere Books will also be re-issuing Alis’s historical mystery Testament, a dual narrative novel set in the fictitious medieval university city of Salster. It revolves around the characters of Kineton and Dacre College in both the financially-precarious present day and during its contentious construction in the fourteenth century.