Catherine Fisher’s work is set in Wales and the Welsh Border territories, and often features children whose lives are in crisis. Her genre is fantasy, however, and telling an exciting and intriguing story is her first objective. She uses a post-modern approach to writing, mainly manifested by the use of traditional tales as a base text from which to create something new.
Belin’s Hill is partly based on her experience as a ‘digger’ on an archaeological project in the ancient town of Caerleon, famous for its Roman remains. Belin’s Hill is also based on a book by Arthur Machen set in Caerleon.
I was fortunate enough to see the dramatisation of parts of Fisher’s novel when it was broadcast on television. Channel Four’s The English Programme (not recently broadcast in England) captures the turmoil of the central character, Huw.
The novel opens with a near-miss car accident where Huw falls down, and some of the more parapsychological events of the novel could well be mental aberrations resulting from a blow to his head.
Underlying the events of the novel, and emerging with more clarity as the drama progresses, is Huw’s gradual recognition of the pain and guilt he feels in the recalling of the train crash that killed his parents. His actual experience during the aftermath of the crash, trapped alongside his parents’ bodies, gradually emerges and is come to terms with.
In October 2011 Catherine Fisher was named the first Young People's Laureate for Wales which carries with it a duty to actively promote literacy which, of course, Catherine has always done.
Channel Four archive The English Programme: Writers from Wales
Catherine Fisher has a website. She welcomes, and reads, all feedback through the site guestbook.