The city of my birth
Last time I wrote about giving birth to a book. I think even a crime novel needs to be authentic. I prefer to write about real places whenever possible and they need to be places I know well enough to create an impression of them through the printed word. As an academic I have been incredibly fortunate to be invited to work all around the world. In fact I have worked on every continent with the sole exception of Antartica. So far there does not seem to be any call for my services there!
So I am lucky to have a store of places that I know sufficiently well to act as settings for my novels. It was inevitable that A Degree of Death should be set in the city of my birth, Chester in the UK. This 2000 year old historic city was oringally a Roman camp and then became a flourishing medieval walled city. During this period they also constructed the amazing Rows. These two story timber walkways thread through the city like some early form of shopping mall. (A Degree of Death also goes to Singapore where I have worked extensively, but more of that another time.)
I put up some information about A Degree of Death on a couple of Chester-based facebook sites. A marvellous fellow called Frank Pasinski got hold of this and put up a wonderful spread about me and the book on his web site Chester Lifestyle. You can visit the site or link to it from here. It might be of interest.
I have always told my students that the most important things that happen in a career are often accidental. Of course you have to be 'out and about' for these fortunate accidents to happen. 'Meeting' Frank was one of those accidents.