Yesterday I submitted the latest version of Before It’s Too Late to my editor in readiness to start the final edits. Reading it through this past week has brought all those wonderful memories of research trips to Stratford-upon-Avon to the fore.
There are so many elements contained in writing a novel. I’ve talked before about my love of research: the reading, the interviews, the lovely people I meet along the way, and for somebody with a passion for travel like myself, field trips are probably my favourite part.
Until recently, I’d only ever visited the touristy Shakespearian sites of Stratford. For the book I needed to find the real Stratford: the place where people live, work, shop, spend time with their families. It was wonderful to be able to take time to wander through the streets, walk around the surrounding countryside, shop on the high street, take a boat out on the Avon and explore the river. What I found was that even without the literary influence, Stratford is a town steeped in history with a wealth of picturesque beauty of its very own.
These visits did allow me to become more familiar with my setting, however the book would never have been written without some expert assistance. I would like to extend my gratitude to all the local people of Stratford who have been so helpful in sending maps and pointing out places of interest. Thanks for sharing your special town with me.