I’m always amazed by the places that writers set their books, whether it be real or imaginary. I’ve read stories about other worlds, both above and below the earth; different realms where anything can exist, and countries that I’ve never thought of until I read about them in someone’s writing. I’ve read about beautiful tropical islands, dystopian worlds (where really, life doesn’t really seem worth living) and beautifully imagined steam punk splendour.
Of course, I’ve read books set in the real places of the world -Baltimore, New York, Nevada, New Orleans, Vancouver, Brisbane and of course, many places set in the UK. I especially love the places where I haven’t actually been, outside of my own country, where authors describe such magnificent settings and take me on holiday without even leaving the comfort of my armchair.
My books mostly take place in England, in and around London. I’ve featured St. James, Soho, the West End, Hampstead heath, Little Venice, Chelsea, the county of Essex where I live, Stamford in Lincolnshire, Norfolk and the wild east coast, the mystical town of Glastonbury and the beautiful picturesque village of Finchingfield. However, I’ve taken my characters to Hollywood for movie premieres, Tibet (Shangri La) for filming, Fiji to get married and to Germany for film awards ceremonies. So some of them have got around a bit.
I have this thing I do that if I’m writing about somewhere featured in my books, I have to visit there if humanly possible, take some pictures and reassure myself that what I’m writing about is actually true. So I’ve visited Stamford, Glastonbury, all the places in London I mention, Cromer in Norfolk, the actual lighthouse I featured in Worth Keeping (I was fortunate enough to be invited down on a maintenance visit and see inside) and of course my home county of Essex. I love these ‘research trips’ as they add a real layer of reality to the events I’m writing about.
I’ve enclosed a few pictures of some these places, taken with my very own smart-phone camera, and I hope you enjoy seeing them too.