Virtual tour around Canbury Village ~ the second imaginary location for my latest novel

Canbury village featured a great deal in MISSING Past and Present, both in the ‘Present’ story of Dot, who wandered homeless around the lanes surrounding Canbury village, only two miles walk from Drumford town centre.

The walk from the town took Dot over the River Ree, through a spinney, past some allotments where Dot found a tumbledown shed open; a refuge on cooler nights. It was situated behind the school, an old fashioned Victorian building which had a main entrance out to the village green. It was here she went during her worst moments of despair to be surrounded by everyday life going on normally around her. Dot would wander long Canbury Lane, which ran through the village, and it was along the way that she discovered the solace of nature in a clearing where she slept out in the open on warm summer nights, staring up into the canopy of the three mature trees. Opposite was a tiny footpath and it was along here that she discovered the Grange, a haven where she tried to find herself once more.

Above is a rough map of Canbury in relation to Drumford.

The children of Canbury School had a great affection for Dot and called her ‘Lady Pink Hat’ and the little village shop looked out for her too, giving her food on their sell by date at the end of a day when they saw her pass by.

For Millie, in the ‘Past’ story, Canbury was her home as she trained to be a nun at the Grange, nearly two centuries before, but whereas for Dot it was a Godsend, for Millie it was more like a prison.

Did I find it difficult to write a novel in an imaginary place?

No, not at all. These places were as real in my head as Dot, Millie and the other characters who led my story forward.

Was it strange to link them to real places too?

Yet again no. I imagined Drumford as one of those communities affected by Beecham in the cut to the UK rail network; not deemed large enough to have its own station and yet a thriving and caring community nevertheless, much like many a market town in the UK. To get to Bedford there is a good bus service or of course the road.

MISSING Past and Present, is available at Waterstones or on Amazon.

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Filed under Author Diana Jackson, Book reading, Historical Fiction, MISSING Past and Present, Mystery inspired by history series, Planning a novel

Virtual Tour around the main settings for my latest novel ~ real and imaginary

MISSING Past and Present is unlike my previous novels because two of the main settings are imaginary. Why go to all that trouble?

  • It challenges the imagination of the writer and the reader
  • It will not offend a reader ~ in my murder mystery, set on my doorstep at the time in a village down in Bedfordshire, some folks loved it that way but others were a bit disturbed by it ~ well, it was murder after all!

Strangely enough this did not deter my ability to see the scenes as vividly as ever in my mind’s eye, maybe more so. I suppose writing fantasy is like that.

Tour 1 in the imaginary Town of Drumford

Here’s my sketch of the main town of Drumford in my novel, or at least the centre, where a lot of the action took place. It was the birth place of Dot, my protagonist, and the focus of a life of memories.

The main scenes were set in The Ark, a centre for the homeless, but there were also scenes in the community police station in the old bank building, in the cafe, in both churches and in the Women’s Refuge.

Belmont Park featured both in the past and the present; as a park to enjoy in today’s world it was a place of reflection, even secret assignations. The ruins of the old manor house, still visible among the gardens, brought to life its past for Millie, my trainee nun, nearly two hundred years before.

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Filed under MISSING Past and Present, Mystery inspired by history series, Planning a novel, Writing, Writing a novel

Diana’s March Book Review ~ Ticket to Eden by Ian K Pulham

Jack Lee is a likeable character, with secret horrific memories which never quite leave his consciousness. This affects his relationships and all of his life, until years later the possible nightmare scenario for our planet returns, but no-one takes him seriously.

A love triangle runs along this thread when the two people whom he holds most dear in his life become a couple.

We have messed up the earth, haven’t we, us humans. If a quick fix solution came along would we take it, regardless of the warnings? Regardless of the consequences.

Not a genre I’m usually drawn to, but I was gripped by this novel, the unexpected twists, the drama and love element. It was a compelling read.

This is Ian K Pulham’s debut novel and a touching tribute to his mum and dad, who would have been so proud …

…. ‘See you in the Next Life…’ Ian says.

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