Thursday, 19 May 2011


Copied from The Coward's Journey Blog, linked over there somewhere, where I am following all the stages to publication in November...Brilliant! Now I know where I am, and where I''m going. I have a map - and so do my characters. It is very interesting, as I said before, and none too easy, to create a map of a fictitious place. It made me see where characters had turned right to go left, if you follow me... (I wouldn't if I were you!) Beautiful, isn't it? All the main characters are located carefully, close to the place that means the most to them. So - clockwise from the top, you have:
Tommo Price, by the tunnel on the old coal line
Laddy Merridew, on the Brychan Estate (that's his gran's house...)

below them there is:
Icarus Evans in his caravan, surrounded by feathers

continuing round the edge, there is:
Peter Edwards, near Deep Pit (closed...)
James Little, by his allotment which he digs at night
Ianto Jenkins, the beggar, close to Ebenezer Chapel where he sleeps on a stone bench in the porch
Judah Jones, near the park where he finds silver leaves

moving left there is:
Factual Philips, at the Public Library, where he is Deputy Librarian and is probably reading The Collected Adventures of Sherlock Holmes on the quiet...
Tutt Bevan, the undertaker, off for a walk, soon,
Baker Bowen, in his house at the bottom of Steep Street, doing anything but baking

and at nine o'clock there is:
Matty Harris (and his wife Eunice, who will be red-faced with fury at being left off the map)
Mrs Bennie Parrish (who will be delighted to be included...)
Nathan Bartholomew, at The Cat Public House - where he's a lodger

and last but not least, for the last shall be first...
Half Harris, at 11 Maerdy St.

Bless 'em.


  1. That's the most beautiful map. I look forward to meeting all your characters, such wonderful names!

  2. Maps are brilliant. Particularly fictional ones. Looking forward to getting to know your intriguing cast too.

  3. Fabulous!! I just can't wait!!

  4. Thanks sarah, Dan, Sue - I love it - it was a real surprise that Bloomsbury wanted to do this. An intriguing way to introduce the characters...

  5. That's lovely Vanessa. I always have sketches like this (if where people live etc is crucial to keep track of) next to me while writing or I would struggle to know where everyone is. Did you give them a sketch or did they extract it form the novel?

  6. I had it all in my head. The town is very very roughly based on the area in Merthyr Tydfil where I spent such a lot of time as a child, with both grandmothers - although my father's mother was by far the closest. So yes, I drew it out, initially, apologising to the real town under my breath as it became so clear how much id shifted things about, renamed them and so on. I then placed the characters on the rough map - where they needed to be - and Holly M took it from there. We had a few to and fro tweaks, and lo! The finished thing.