On location & other things

This past couple of weeks location has been at the forefront of my mind. I’ve been compiling a video of the settings in Blind Side – a year ago when starting out on my journey with Unbound I rashly decided to make a video of the novel’s London locations a reward for those people who pledged for a guided tour but wouldn’t be able make it in person. Also I’ve been writing a post for the Trip Fiction website on my use of London as a setting for the book. More on both projects to follow.

At the risk of alienating my blog followers and anyone else who comes across this post – what a f***ing dreadful week it’s been.

First, the US election. An unashamedly devoted Obama fan for the past eight years, I recoil in horror at the thought of ‘President Trump’. Those two words are just not meant to go together in my view. I share the pain of my liberal-minded American friends who will experience his presidency first-hand. Fortunately for me, an ocean separates us… Then the news that the melancholy genius of Leonard Cohen is gone, his last words have been written. This has set off my gloom perfectly. It’s raining too, and my husband and I were wiping tears from our eyes as we listened to those haunting words once more.

Returning to locations before I get seriously depressed, here’s a few shots from the video (which contains both stills and video clips – I plan to post some snippets once I’ve upgraded my site):

The Regent’s Canal

The video is more than a bit late – apologies to anyone who may have been impatiently awaiting it. My excuse is the sheer time it’s taken to get to photograph and film the locations (which I did this summer with my camera and an old iPhone) and get to grips with the software (Windows MovieMaker).

Several times while heaving sighs at the limitations of the software/my computer/my brain I’ve asked myself why on earth I decided to do this… Last weekend though, I finally got the hang of trimming, re-ordering, captioning and de-wobbling my video clips. I’ve added transitions and animations to some still shots. Now all that’s left to do is to add some narration and maybe background music.

Boats on the canal

The Trip Fiction post will be published in a couple of weeks. While out and about photographing the settings I realised how much some have changed since I explored them in 2005, when I began writing my novel. King’s Cross is certainly a very different area now after its massive redevelopment. No more derelict land and decaying warehouses, nor could I find a greasy spoon or tatty pub like the ones I visited eleven years ago…

This is the life!
A view from the Parkland Walk



Features of the walk


In other news

Reviews of Blind Side continue to be posted on Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, Goodreads and Library Thing. It gives me such a thrill to see how well the book been received (with a few exceptions, of course) and what in particular has struck readers. Thanks again to all those people who’ve shared their thoughts. Many pledgers on Unbound have now downloaded their copies – if you haven’t yet, here are the instructions: http://docs.unbound.co.uk/unbound-for-readers/managing-your-subscriptions/how-do-i-download-the-ebook

Some rather interesting and most welcome developments relating to my book are lurking in the wings:) I’m not able to share them just yet but will do so as soon as possible, promise.

Meanwhile, I’ll leave you with some a few questions – replies most welcome. Which books have you enjoyed with a strong sense of place? Do you really have to visit a location in person these days to write about it well? And is there anywhere that you would love to write (or read) about?

Blind Side (23 July 2016, Unbound) is available from:

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