Literary tourism has an important role to play in bringing new visitors to the island.
The impact of the Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society film on visitor numbers there is well known, but books on their own are driving tourists to Jersey. A group of local authors think the importance of the global ambassadorship achieved through novels is under-recognised.
Historical romance author, Deborah Carr, lives and writes in Jersey and has been contacted by readers of her books from as far afield as Canada.
She explained: “I am astounded when I get emails from people who read my books and then say they want to visit the island, and do. I’ve met up with some of them who come and want to see the particular landmarks and areas that feature in my books, such as An Island at War and The Poppy Sisters.”
While Deborah’s books focus on the historical aspects of Jersey, local author Gwyn Bennett has written a new modern crime thriller series.
She said: “You’d think that reading a story about murders and crime would put people off but it doesn’t, as the Bergerac series proved.
“Jersey is an integral character in The Stolen Ones, providing atmosphere and a unique backdrop to the story. With so many amazing landmarks and such a diverse history, I’m getting a lot of comments from readers who are being introduced to the island for the first time, and others for whom it brings back memories. There’s no doubt that the books are encouraging people to come to Jersey, which is a marketing bonus for our island.”
Kelly Clayton, who has also written crime thrillers based in Jersey, has had a lot of feedback about the location since publishing Blood in the Sand in 2015. She commented: “As an author it’s wonderful to get emails and messages from readers, but I’m especially pleased when they say they’ve decided to come to the island after reading the books; and I’ve even received photographs of them visiting landmarks mentioned in the stories.”
The three Jersey authors, are together known as The Blonde Plotters, and between them have around forty books published globally by various publishers.
Pictured: Left to right – Kelly Clayton, Gwyn Bennett and Deborah Carr