Past ghosts and future heroes

The appeal of the Gothic mashup behind The Book of Thunder and Lightning

Photo by petr sidorov on Unsplash

When creating future heroes for literature, it’s sometimes useful to look to the past. If we dig deeper into history we can see our present realities reflected back to us and this can be furtive ground for writers.

This is what happened to me back in 2021, following the completion of my novella Headcase. With the worst of the pandemic behind us, a short walk to a local neighbourhood in Shoreditch, London took me to a street I had never come across before. Calvert Avenue, with its chic boutiques and quaint cafes lead to Arnold Circus, a small round park with a spired bandstand at its centre. Its elevated position gave you a view of the spider web of broad, orange-bricked avenues fanning out from it. Had I suddenly been transported to another city?, another country? Another time perhaps.

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