As you will realise when you read the book, some of the themes within the story are very sensitive issues. It doesn’t matter how often you tell people that the events are completely fictional there remains a presumption that there must have been a foundation for the story in reality. For many things that is not a problem and readers can draw whatever conclusions they like. However, some old wounds are better not reopened and I didn’t want to inadvertently cause pain to anyone who might have been in similar positions.
As a result the story hinges around three fictional places. The key one is Billingbrook, where the characters live. Billingbrook does not exist, however you will deduce its location is somewhere in Lancashire from its proximity to a number of read places. It is not based on any one place, however there are elements of places I do know described as background, places that are not themselves in Lancashire. The library where Lisa works is based on York Library for example, whereas the back-to-back housing where Pete lives are drawn from the place where I grew up. Triford where the Lisa’s family haled from, is in Sussex for no other reason that that is a long way from Lancashire. Southingham is the final key location and that is based in Gloucestershire and you’ll have to read the book to find out more of why that is.
Lisa’s family in Australia live in a real and very beautiful place called Noosa. My cousins may dispute my description but then that is what artistic licence is all about. I’ve woven into the story many places that are both familiar and dear to me, Birmingham University and St Pancras Station to name but two. If I can see a place in mind’s eye I find it much easier to convey to the reader. It may merge with other places and morph into somewhere completely different but in everything you write you leave a little of yourself behind.