Aspiring novelist hits the literary heights

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With the Hay Literary festival fresh in our minds Swansea University is delighted to announce that one of its own staff has hit the literary heights with the success of his first fantasy novel

Karl Beer, aged 39, has always been a fan of myths and folktales and having gained a creative writing education through the Open University, which he passed with distinction, decided to try his hand at writing. His  love of such authors as Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Tad Williams, George RR Martin and Piers Anthony inspired him to write fantasy and horror literature.

Karl, who was born and lives in Swansea, works as a senior project officer in the Department for Research and Innovation at Swansea University. Karl has devoted his spare time to his writing and says that living beside the beautiful Gower coastline gave endless inspiration that fed into his writing.

Karl’s first novel Crik, published last month, held the number 1 slot on the Amazon Fantasy Epic and Coming of Age sub-genres for 8 days and has already received 5 star reviews and attracted comments such as:

 Kings' Dark Tower meets The Golden Compass - Superb Epic!

 “Can see this being made into a movie - really grabs you.”

Outstanding debut novel from an exciting new author!

“If Clive Barker dreamt of Middle Earth it may have been something like Crik”.

Crik cover

Crik is the name of a small village at the heart of a vast wood in which every person has a unique ability called a “Talent”. The Mayor can talk to insects, a girl can disappear in a cloud of smoke, and a young boy called Jack has a living shadow. One thunderous night Jack discovers the horrifying secret buried at the heart of his village. Thrown into an adventure filled with danger and discovery, Jack is faced with the question: ‘What would you do if your closest friend was your greatest enemy?’ For Jack that someone is his shadow.




Karl Beer

Speaking about his writing Karl said: “I work at Swansea University Research Department, where I am lucky enough to be part of so many exciting projects. Seeing all the good work in fields such as medicine is very inspiring, and motivates me every day. I love a good read, and have spent countless, hours, days, weeks...ok probably years of my life absorbing as much as possible. Fantasy is my greatest love, and the genre I enjoy most to write. With all great books, characters come first; I enjoy putting mine through hell, thinking of ways to make them grow, and for the reader to relate to them. I have written some short stories but Crik is my first full book.

“ Crik is born from a desire to share new fantastical worlds and to build a tapestry of history that draws the reader in as much as the ancient tales drew me in as a child. I hope you enjoy reading Crik.”

Crik artwork



Picture 1: Cover of Crik

Picture 2: Karl Beer

Picture 3: Crik artwork