Friday, 14 August 2015

Step into my world

Prince Rupert Street, Shrewsbury
As my first Esme novel was inspired by family history and my ancestors hail from Shropshire, it seemed appropriate to set BLOOD-TIED in the county. With the historic town of Shrewsbury, numerous outlying villages, the nearby canal network and the wild landscape of The Long Mynd to chose from, it had potential for a wide variety of scenes.

The Long Mynd
But should I change the locations into fictional places or stick with their real names? In the end I opted for a mixture of both. Shrewsbury became Shropton (in fact, I'm not sure that the county town of Shropshire wouldn't be better named Shropton, i.e. Shrop-town!) and The Long Mynd, by contrast, retained its identity.

When it came to writing THE INDELIBLE STAIN, the inspiration had come from reading about 

© Peter Keene
19th century sailing ships transporting convicts to Australia. I decided I needed a coastal scene with dramatic cliffs from which my victim would fall.
The area around Hartland in North Devon was a perfect choice and I used a tiny former port for many of the scenes, re-naming it Warren Quay so I could add extra houses and reinstate the harbour the real location had once had, until it was washed away in a violent storm in 1896.

I'm now immersed in the first draft of the third Esme mystery, as yet untitled, and my mind is buzzing as I start to match my scenes with places. So, without giving too much away, I'll share a couple of photos with you of possible locations. That's all I'm saying for now!

What's your preference for settings? Do you like reading about real places or fictional ones? Do you have a favourite book set in a place you know and love? I'd be interested to hear your views.