I live just outside a place called Blackpool. It's a touristy, seaside town in the north west of England which has fallen on hard times in recent years and has a slowly rising reputation for being a place that nomadic, transient souls wander to and settle in. What better place to situate my fictional town on Dartley, the home of edgy detective Caecilius Rex?
I'd like to take you for a moment to the opening page of The Atomic Circus, the first time we arrive in Dartley in the dead of night:
A story’s never a good story unless it starts with a murder. The more unusual the murder, the better the story, generally speaking.
The scene before us is a most unusual one. It is dusk in the seaside town of Dartley, and a man lies face-down in a small crater, in the concrete of the promenade, just about as dead as you can get. Another man, dressed head to toe in black, stands beside the body, watching it, and very much alive. Police sirens signal the arrival of the official forces, but it’s hard to see where they’re coming from in the thick smog that surrounds the crime scene.
It’s important, that smog. Don’t ever forget about the smog.
Sinister eh? Well that's not how people usually see Blackpool, but there's something about this little town that inspires me to look beyond the sleek lines of the promenade and its many sunburnt tourists. To show you how I imagine it, I thought some visual aids would be of use. Here's how my area actually looks, and here's how I see it for Cae's world:
I hope you've enjoyed this little foray into my imagination, please head back to my lovely tour hosts at the following links to experience more about The Atomic Circus and the Caecilius Rex saga, and don't forget to follow this blog and check out the Goodreads and Facebook links too!