Saturday, 9 May 2009

Location, location, location...

I like a strong sense of place in a novel - especially if it's somewhere I know. Nick Hornby's About a Boy happens in a part of North London I'm familiar with, and I like that. Vanity Fair and David Copperfield give fascinating glimpses of how London used to be.

So my novel, Catch a Falling Star, is set in very specific parts of London. I invented Fox Hollow Yard, the picturesque cobbled yard in Hoxton where Caz has her workshop - it's a blend of French Place, Leicester Mews and Bleeding Heart Yard with a big dollop of imagination, and it's as clear to me as if I'd been there.

Most of the other locations are real, and any interested reader can 'visit' them on Google Street View (I absolutely love Google Street View). You can see the Macondo Café in Hoxton Square (pictured; it's the one with the red blind) where Caz met Phil on a grey and drizzly day. You can work out that the Clerkenwell restaurant James took her to was Hix, or follow Caz on the trek from W2 to Shepherdess Walk she made to clear her thoughts after Emma's shocking revelation about Ric.

And the nice thing is, Google Street View images were taken in the summer of 2008, when my novel is set.

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