Thursday, January 01, 2009

New Year Already...

Happy New Year…

Madame Vin and myself spent Christmas at my sisters and brought in the new year at Jo ‘n’ Jo’s close to the beaches of Portobello. A fine time was had by all with much merriment and a little imbibing of drink. I didn’t make any New Year resolutions, not because I don’t think I need the improvement, just that I would never stick to them.

Jo 'n' Jo and Madame Vin enjoy the beach.

Now I’m back at my desk with a few days of relative bliss and calm before starting on the next novel in the Gap series. I’ve started to do much in the research and already have a good idea of what happens in the first few opening chapters. The next few lines are me thinking aloud.

I started off wanting to use The Rolling Stones as the band Sarah goes to see in London, mainly because I’ve always loved their music and they represented the 60s, the rebellious youth.

Very early pics of The Rolling Stones can be found here. They look so young and hardly rock and roll. Interesting that originally their management attempted to get them to wear uniformly similar jackets but this was quickly rejected for more of a rebel look, unlike the Beatles who stuck to their uniform look for some time.

However, I want to place the novel in about 1968 to tie in with ‘DarkFather’ and to ensure that Sarah is old enough to want to go and see such music. She’s at an age where she wants to rebel, she’s getting into boys and music. I don’t want her to be as innocent as Terry and Benjamin because times have changed, the Second World War saw to that. Anyway, whilst checking on the Stones gigs for that year it quickly became apparent that they didn’t play London, plus by 1968 they had become quite famous, so I started checking into gigs that did take place.

On the 6th September 1968 The Doors played their only UK gig at the Roundhouse in Camden. The Roundhouse is a wonderful old Victorian building originally built as a turning circle for the London and Birmingham railway and later used as a gin warehouse. Just the sort of venue that fits with the Gap novels, as it has history and living memory that can be put to good use, plus the gig was an instant classic (not that many children will realise, but I want the books grounded in history).

Coincidence seems to play a lot in the Gap novels. I start thinking up something and then find that something very similar happened or exists ready for me to make use of. By setting the gig in Camden and the entrance to the Gap in the Roundhouse, I then did some research on the area and low and behold I found the Camden Catacombs, a series of tunnels and archways under Camden that is perfect.

The gods of the Gap are smiling on me and its only January the first.

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