“I don’t see why it was necessary to disguise what is obviously Manchester as “Mancaster” – quote from an otherwise glowing review of my new novel(la), ‘Stalkbook.’
My reason for doing that was to allow me some creative licence with the geography and the architecture. After all, I don’t want some indignant native pointing out that you absolutely can’t see or even hear the bars on Canal St. (another recognisable Manchester landmark) from Castlefield – renamed Castlegate in the story. Or a review on TripAdvisor posted by a weary fan from other parts (lovely thought though), complaining that they had wandered around for over an hour and still not located the tunnel where the body was found in the novel.
It also meant that when choosing a location for the photography shoot for the cover images we were not restricted to Castlefield Canal Basin. Portland Basin in Ashton-under-Lyne shares many similar characteristics, was closer to travel to, and less busy than Castlefield in the centre of Manchester. Both were constructed in the late 1700’s at the time of the Industrial Revolution. I’ll write more about the features and how they relate to two of the main characters in the novel in my next post.
My 87 year Uncle Ed told me an amusing anecdote about Portland Basin, when I explained that my novel, Stalkbook revolves around a body found in a canal, and the cover images were taken there. He said that in the old days, because the three joining canals, Ashton, Huddersfield and Peak Forest, came under the jurisdiction of three different police forces, if a body was found the first officers on the scene would attempt to push it in the direction of another of the canals!