When you’ve been slogging away at a book for months on end, it’s hard to remember where you originally stole all the places, names, people and situations from! But on my drive through Highgate this morning, (where almost all of characters in my books live, simply because I want to live there) it occurred to me that I should give these people and places thanks for inspiring me. So here they are:
Enchanted is based on Drink Shop Do on Caledonian Road. It’s been one of my favourite arty places to hang out (although I much prefer it when it’s quiet and mostly empty, which seems to be less and less these days). I actually started Tig’s story writing in my new notebook in DSD last year, and it seemed the perfect place to set a story. And yes, their Guinness cake is just as good as Ruby’s!
Ollie is a mixture of influences, but I thought out of fairness, that I should have a blond hero for once! So the first bit of inspiration was that red herring in Pitch Perfect, the radio DJ who was literally there for that one scene where he shows his abs. The second was Aaron Paul. I freaking love that man, both in Breaking Bad (bitch!) but also in a lot of the other work he does. Plus he’s so in love with his wife that I find it adorable. I always thought it weird that he’s so rarely given the leading man role, and even rarer a romantic lead. So I thought I’d write him one. But trying to imagine an English accent was really damn difficult!
The Hobbit Hole (Tig’s parents’ house) is in Barnet, and I set it on Barnet Road, which I drive down a fair bit and always on the way to the my favourite pub The Gate. I could see Tig’s parents curling up in my favourite pub and settling down to a lovely meal every Sunday in front of a lovely roaring fire!
A lot of the wandering about North London takes part in Highgate and Hampstead, although the Brazilian Dancing part was inspired by my experience trying out Forro, which is an amazing and fun type of dance! I knew I wanted to include it in my novel! However, I set that scene in a bar inspired by Coco Bamboo in Chalk Farm, which has an awesome rooftop bar, and is one one of my favourite places to hang out in the summer in London!
By far the most interesting part to me was that Tig wanted to be an astronomical photographer. This was inspired by seeing the Astronomy Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Royal Observatory.