20 December 2013

Where's Jenny Parker?

I believe that setting is important for a novel. It can help add a feeling of authenticity to the story and provide a solid backdrop for the action. As a writer, I can immerse myself more easily in places I know.

That's why Jenny Parker is in the centre of Manchester to begin with, working as an accountant in a modern glass and metal building.

Her life is difficult enough as a working mother but further complicated by an affair with her boss, Martin, who's apartment is conveniently close to their office.

This, unfortunately, is as good as it gets for Jenny. Things soon change for the worse.

They say that you are never more than a few metres away from a rat. In similar fashion, the nice, comfortable, safe parts of Manchester are very close to the bleak, dangerous ones. And that's where Jenny soon finds herself, fighting for her life.

I find it very satisfying when I recognise a place I know, or have visited, in a book. It's often fun to make a point of visiting them just to stand there and breathe in the atmosphere, feel how a favourite character might have felt.
It's important to watch out for rats while you do.