Readers of The Touchstone Trilogy will know that the books are set on the Somerset wetlands - the areas around West Sedgemoor and King's Sedgemoor, often called The Levels. I'm frequently asked, 'are the places in the books real?'
Yes and no, is the best answer I can give. The locations are based on childhood memories, and some that were real have since disappeared, but it doesn't take long to find images very similar to those in the story. I've just returned from a working holiday in Somerset, where I rented a little place for a week in order to get some edits finished. Here are a few of the photos I took.
Now this one is real. It's the sheep gate that features in The Various - and it's the actual one that I was thinking about as I wrote the book. Still there, just as it was when I was a child.
The barn where Midge finds Pegs is fictitious, but here's one very like it. Just down the road from where I was staying.
I haven't seen one of these in years. It's a side-rake, the same piece of machinery that Pegs was trapped under. Again, it was within a very short distance of where I was staying. Looks like it's being used as a makeshift fence.