Wednesday, 14 March 2012

I wanted to study at Hogwarts and live in the Lord of the Rings, It's not how you tell it but WHERE you tell it.

Location Location Location.
Not just about the house you buy, maybe, but also about the books you read. Every story I loved as a child had something about the setting.
For a while I was obsessed with Brendon Chase, by 'BB.' I tried to find it on maps, and the place names and their descriptions enchanted me so much that I remember them easily now. The town of Martyr Bar, Blind Pool, deep in the forest.

I stared at maps from the Lord of the Rings until my eyes bugged out. I was seriously disappointed that I could never actually go there. The writing of Laurie Lee had the same effect, apart from I COULD go there, and so the first holiday I went on by myself was a bike tour of Northern Spain, visiting Burgos and Leon, and other destinations he passed through in the beautifully written, wonderfully titled 'As I walked out One Midsummer Morning.'

And now I write myself, and magical, real life places are where I try my hardest to set my work. There are several, but the most important is Glastonbury and the Somerset Levels, where I lived for two years, where I set 'Song to Wake to' and th source of the name for the characters school and the entire series itself.
Truth is stranger than fiction, and why make somewhere up, when there is a real place as wonderful as the Levels?


  1. One of my favourite books as a kid was The Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner. It's set in Cheshire around Alderney Edge, which had a special resonance for me as my surname is Edge and my grandfather came from Cheshire, so I guess my ancestors came from around there too.
    I'll never forget the holiday when my dad took the map from the Collins paperback and started plotted the A- and B-roads from his AA Roadmap of Britain on it. And off we all went! Visiting the real and mythical landmarks. To be honest, I don't remember the details, but I still have a shadow of the feelings - a little bubble of excitement and suspense in the stomach. That's what books do to you.


    1. Wait a minute, how cool was your dad? Taking you on a tour of the wierdstone of brisingamen. That's BRILLIANT.
      I loved that book too. The fact that I remember Gowther Moffat however many years down the line is proof, as is that there's a tiny little bit of it in song to wake to...