Is anywhere safe from a writer’s clutches? Although I spent the first 21 years of my life in the Midlands, I now live in the North of England. I’ve never lived in London or the south but daughter works in the City and lives in the south-east. Everywhere she’s lived, I’ve used as a setting in my books – Greenwich in particular. She married in Chilham – church above – that I used for a funeral in ‘Every Move He Makes’.
Chilham’s been used as the location for a number of films and TV series.
We looked at Penshurst Place for a reception but it was too small – but I used it in my book ‘Jumping in Puddles’ – the manor hall which held the faerie treasure. Not to say I don’t use places in the north, I do. But if I need my characters to go south, I have to rely on the places that I’ve already seen. Camber Sands – I used in ‘Cowboys Down’.
I’ve realised I’m much happier with a real location to play with. I’ve only written a few stories where the action is in another world – sci fi or fantasy. I guess there really is no place like home – or someone else’s home!
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Okay, I’m as bad as everyone else for letting this blog slide. So many hours in the day, so much to do, but I’ll try a post and see if anyone is listening.
Of course, it involves a touch of promo but it’s more about how my home country inspires me to write. All but a couple of the twenty odd novels I’ve written are set in the UK. I’ve learned to set them in areas I know or at least can easily research. It makes life so much simpler. So popular settings are – Greenwich, Yorkshire – Leeds, Harrogate etc, Derbyshire, Northumberland, Scotland. I’ve dragged poor husband all over the place to take pictures of locations (though I didn’t notice him grumbling when we went to Miami to scout out details for one the books not set in the UK) We were already in Florida so a five hour drive in tropical heat didn’t seem too unreasonable. Oh and five hours back. oops.
My latest book – okay – twist my arm and I’ll tell you – Every Move He Makes – out with Samhain publishing, involves a British spy – so I needed pictures of that building on the Thames that’s hardly secret but holds our secret service. I took so many pictures, I kept expecting to get a tap on the shoulder and to whisked away by 007. Well, a girl can dream. Research on what the building is like inside came up woefully short so I had to make up some bits. I think readers will forgive me.
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