Yes, my books are always about real places. Whether it’s a building, a mountain, or a city, I have to let the experience and vision of the place wash into my own subconscious.
I think it’s important that fictional characters can explore real places. Even Harry Potter has his own special platform on Kings Cross. And how many lucky holidaymakers will be able to read the inspirational Captain Corelli’s Mandolin on the beautiful beaches of Cephalonia, Greece?
I also like to link my own books with factual events that are relevant to the time in which the novel is set. For example, one chapter of Hassle Castle tunes into the restless ambiance of Moscow at the beginning of the twenty-first century. I also draw on my experience of places such as the intriguing red light districts of Amsterdam, the beautiful city of Prague and the harrowing potholes of Hawes in North Yorkshire.
Hassle Castle is dedicated to the infamous lad’s trips that I was fortunate to make from the early 1990s with a varied cast of over twenty great blokes (and occasionally girls, too). The seven fictional characters in the book were conceived on these excursions and then incubated within my imagination.