Ann Marie Thomas


Writing poetry and making up stories since she was a child, Ann only started to write seriously when her children were grown. Her main ambition is to write science fiction, but along the way she got fascinated by local history and distracted by a major stroke. However, she wrote poetry about her stroke and spent her recovery writing a local history book. Taking early retirement gave her more time to concentrate on her writing.

The result is two exciting new books about little-known pieces of Swansea and Gower history:

What began with a curiosity about the heyday of Swansea Castle, resulted in Alina, The White Lady of Oystermouth, the only book about Alina de Breos and the part that Swansea and Gower played in the toppling of Edward II from the throne.

Now there is a second book, set a century before the first. This tells the story of how King John's brutal treatment of William de Breos, Lord of Gower and a lot more beside, led to rebellion by many of the great barons and was the final spark that lit the fire of Magna Carta.

Smashwords Interview

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in south London, England and always loved to write. Even as a child I wrote poetry and short stories.
What's the story behind your book Alina, The White Lady of Oystermouth?
The ruins of Swansea Castle are right in the middle of the city, and I was looking up at them one day when I wondered what the castle was like when it was intact and in use. I went home and Googled it, as you do, and got fascinated by Gower medieval history. Swansea is famous for its industry in the 18th and 19th centuries, but before then I always thought it was a quiet backwater. It turns out that the medieval Lords of Gower were involved in every major event of British history for over 300 years after William the Conqueror. History in school was boring, but this was real people's lives and it caught my imagination.

When I first wrote the history, I didn't know what to do with it. Then I had a stroke which left me disabled. Preparing the book for publication and learning how to promote it, gave me a vital interest in the days that followed, and saved me from falling into depression at all the things I could no longer do.

A local publisher sat me down and explained why no publisher would touch it – because it is too small a market to justify the publishing costs. I wanted to tell the story, so I self-published. Because the market is principally locals and tourists, I needed a print book for people to buy on impulse, although there is an ebook as well. My judgement was right, as I have sold only a few ebooks.

When I was medically retired by my employer I used money from my pension to pay for the printing, and expected not to recover my costs. To my surprise and delight I sold over 250 copies in the first summer season and not only covered my costs, but made enough profit to finance another print run and put money towards the second book!
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Ann Marie Thomas online

Where to buy in print


Flight of the Kestrel
The Kestrel is part of the Fast-Response Fleet of the Planetary Alliance for Cooperation and Trade (PACT). It is a small ship, though fast and armed, with eleven crew. Each book of the series stands alone but features different crew members, so we get to know them.


Alien Secrets (Flight of the Kestrel Book 2)
Series: Flight of the Kestrel, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 75,510. Language: British English. Published: January 5, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy
On a failed mission to look for a secret weapon, Shom Reuel of the Kestrel saves a man – twice. He looks human, apart from the lump on his forehead. It seems everyone wants him, but is he a friend or a deadly enemy? And will the shock of his identity cause Reuel to reveal his people’s greatest secret?
The Conquest of Wales
Price: Free! Words: 2,720. Language: English. Published: December 6, 2018. Categories: Nonfiction » History » Medieval, Nonfiction » History » European
In 1066 William of Normandy won the Battle of Hastings, but Wales wasn't conquered for over two hundred years. The Welsh princes were a thorn in the side of the English kings until Edward I, building castles and roads as he went, finally conquered Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, the last Prince of Wales.
Medieval Gower Stories
Series: Stories of Medieval Gower. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 9,290. Language: British English. Published: January 27, 2018. Categories: Nonfiction » History » Medieval, Nonfiction » History » European
Fascinating stories from medieval Gower: battles, brutality, adultery, daring escapes, fairies and an ogre! If you like scandal, intrigue and true stories from history, then you’ll love Ann Marie Thomas’ book.
Stowaway: Flight of the Kestrel Short Story 1
Series: Flight of the Kestrel. Price: Free! Words: 2,740. Language: British English. Published: May 10, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
Lieutenant Joe Darrow breaks the rules to help out a mate, but there are unforseen consequences. This is a background story for the science fiction series Flight of the Kestrel. In book 1, Intruders, we see the long term impact of this event.
My Stroke of Inspiration
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 4,320. Language: British English. Published: May 9, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » Health, wellbeing, & medicine » Physical impairments
Ann Marie Thomas had a stroke in work in May 2010. In the long hours in hospital, she began to write poetry on her mobile phone, laboriously one letter at a time. About her stroke, her treatment, her faith, and totally random things like the rain outside her window. The poems talk about suffering and patience, therapy and faith. These poems will comfort, encourage and inspire you.
The Magna Carta Story: The Layman's Guide to the Great Charter
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 15,710. Language: British English. Published: May 9, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » History » Medieval, Nonfiction » History » European
The layman's guide to Magna Carta and a good story too. The relationships, arguments, bad behaviour, and civil war around the imposition of the Great Charter on King John, and what happened afterwards. Why is it considered so important after 800 years, and what did it actually say?
Intruders (Flight of the Kestrel book 1)
Series: Flight of the Kestrel, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 89,560. Language: English. Published: April 27, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure, Fiction » Adventure » Action
Tabitha Enns is given work experience on board the Kestrel, on the adventure of her life, that will push her to the limit. When a hostile alien species are discovered, the Kestrel is sent to make contact, leading the crew – and Tabitha – into danger, and the crew have problems with their friends as well as their enemies.
Broken Reed: The Lords of Gower and King John
Series: Stories of Medieval Gower. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 9,980. Language: British English. Published: September 1, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » History » Medieval, Nonfiction » History » European
King John's brutal treatment of William de Breos led to rebellion by many of the great barons and was the final spark that lit the fire of Magna Carta.
Alina, The White Lady of Oystermouth
Series: Stories of Medieval Gower. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 8,900. Language: English. Published: March 28, 2012. Categories: Nonfiction » History » Medieval
Alina de Breos' husband seizes the Lordship of Gower in an attempt to protect her inheritance. This rebellion which starts in 1320, gathers other barons in a country-wide uprising against a weak and distrusted king.

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Smashwords book reviews by Ann Marie Thomas

  • Transgression: A Time-Travel Suspense Novel on July 13, 2014

    The idea of someone going back in time to kill St Paul really intrigued me, so I bought the book. Then I discovered good writing, real characters you care about, and multiple points of view so you could really understand where they were coming from. Add to this the whole subject of Christianity/Judaism/Atheism, and done very well I must say, and I was really hooked. Well researched, well written and a real page turner. Highly recommended. The minute I finished the book I went and bought the next one. Can't wait!
  • Premonition: A Time-Travel Suspense Novel on July 21, 2014

    This is the second book in the City of God series and at least as good as the first one. Very little 'science fiction' in this book, but a cracking good story with suspense and tugs at the emotions. I won't give spoilers, but I burst into tears at one point. I couldn't wait to finish it and I can't wait to read the next one. Highly recommended.