Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Huffington Post Blogger and YA Writer James Stoddah Guest Post!

Hello all Serial Readers! Today I'd like to introduce you to author James Stoddah. You may know him from his two published works: Ring Of Conscience and A Parallel Trust. A Parallel Trust came out just this summer and is currently available on Amazon. 

James was kind enough to treat us to a guest post where he explains the benefits of visiting real places in fiction. 

How Featuring Real Places in Fiction Creates a Timeless Diary

I recently read a fascinating review for my first novel Ring of Conscience. The book is partly set in Las Vegas and the reviewer enjoyed the descriptions of the city and mentioned it was wonderful to revisit the ‘Old Vegas’.
Old Vegas. My last visit was in 2007. I had written scenes in the book based on my memories of the city. How much could it change in eight years?
I took to Google Maps and had a virtual walk along The Strip. There were indeed significant changes. Three new hotel complexes had been built, altering the skyline of the city. There were new walkways, new road bridges and a huge shopping centre. In fact, the changes were so vast that my book’s chase scene could no longer happen the way I described it.
Eight years.
It’s hard to imagine how much a place can change in our absence. You notice changes slower in your hometown and in eight years, the alterations can slip by unnoticed. In my hometown of Blackpool, England our promenade has been modernised with art structures and sea defences, the town centre has been redeveloped, two huge glass structures have been built, including a supermarket. The changes in Blackpool, to somebody who hasn’t visited in eight years, are more substantial than Las Vegas. To me, it was endless roadworks, diversions and much stress. I can only snapshot these changes in retrospect.
I’ve always enjoyed reading about real places in fiction. One of the earliest books I remember reading was The Runaways by Victor Canning, which was set in Warminster in Wiltshire. When I was seventeen, my mother took me and my younger sister on a road-trip for a week and we stopped in the town and searched for the areas featured in the book. It was different to the Warminster I had created in my mind when reading the book, yet strangely nostalgic.
Perhaps, using real places in fiction creates a timeless diary. Salinger’s New York in The Catcher in the Rye is vastly different to Scarrow’s Timeriders. Indeed, fiction can go as far as to create towns – or paper towns in the case of John Green. Literary photographs, developed in our imagination.

Next week, I return to Las Vegas with all this in mind, to give a speech about the book. It will be a new page in a diary yet to write.

Once again, I'd like to thank James for stopping by. Comment bellow if you enjoyed this guest post or if you'd like to ask James more!

James Stoddah is a UK novelist and Huffington Post blogger. He has written two contemporary treasure hunt mysteries, Ring of Conscience and A Parallel Trust, and created the Melodema online treasure hunt.
For more information visit of find on social media, including @JamesStoddah on Twitter.

What begins as an exciting challenge turns into a countdown to save a young girl's life... As seventeen-year old Aril Ousby, the son of a renowned astrophysicist, embarks on a geocache treasure hunt in Britain, a series of kidnappings takes place in the United States. How are these events connected? Is Aril right to trust the enigmatic architect of the treasure hunt - or is he being led into an elaborate trap? Is the puzzle master motivated by altruism - or greed? And why has he chosen to involve Aril in his scheme? Aril and his friend Unity are drawn into a mystery that leads them to look at the Earth from a new perspective and to address a fundamental question: can future generations avoid the mistakes their parents made?


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