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Last Updated: Saturday, 18 June, 2005, 08:31 GMT 09:31 UK
Debut book proves summer sizzler
The Colour of a Dog Running Away book cover
The novel has been promoted by major booksellers
A first-time novel by a Cardiff lecturer launched only last month is proving to be a Welsh publisher's fastest seller ever.

The Colour of a Dog Running Away by Richard Gwyn was launched a month ago and is already on its third reprint.

The book, described as an intense love story and a paranoid thriller, is tipped as a summer best seller.

Waterstones, one of several booksellers promoting it as their book of the month in June, called sales "fantastic".

Cardigan-based Parthian which encourages works by new Welsh writers says 4,000 copies of The Colour of a Dog Running Away have already been sold.

"An average print run for a Welsh novel is between 1,000 to 1,500 copies, " said Parthian's marketing manager Dominic Williams.

Richard Gwyn
Gwyn says the strong sales are down to 'good fortune on my part'

"We had already reprinted this one before its official launch because of advance orders and now we are on a third print. It's just going from strength to strength".

Other Parthian books Work, Sex and Rugby by Lewis Davies and In and Out of the Goldfish Bowl by Rachel Tresize had both done extremely well, said Mr Williams, but this latest book was leading the way as their biggest seller ever.

Cardiff University creative writing lecturer Gwyn had already written books of poetry but The Colour of a Dog is his first prose work.

The novel, set in Barcelona, follows its Welsh hero Lucas.

It moves between a love story sparked by the delivery of a mysterious postcard and a thriller when the couple are abducted and taken to the Pyrenees as part of a plot to revitalise a medieval sect.

"I had been toying with the idea of writing a novel since 1997 and this was the result," said Gwyn, who admitted he was "surprised" by the success.

"I used to live in Catalonia and still have strong contacts there," he said.


"I'm surprised because its a small Welsh publisher and they (major booksellers) don't normally promote works by small publishers to the extent that they have got behind this.

"It's down to good fortune on my part."

Waterstone's have all been promoting the novel in June.

"The book is doing extremely well and it's fantastic sales for a first novel," said a spokeswoman for Waterstones.

"It's not Dan Brown, but I am really pleased," said Gwyn, who is now working on a second novel set in Greece.

There is more good news because his first novel is already being translated into Spanish after the rights were sold and talks are continuing in other European countries about further translations of the book.

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