Because I’m writing about a fictitious town, Pitkirtly, I have had to invent its geography and town plan from nothing – or almost nothing. It has similarities to Culross, which I know slightly, but I don’t want it to be the same as Culross. So for instance I don’t want it to have a railway line running along the river front between the road and the beach. In any case that would ruin some scenes in the first two novels in the series. But for the purposes of my latest one, A Reformed Character, I’ve discovered I need the railway line – mainly because I need an old railway yard where bad things happen, and I want it to be at the far side of the tracks so that it isn’t too easily accessible. I’ve found myself describing the route of the railway line to explain this. But I don’t really like writing description so I have left some of the detail to the reader’s imagination! At some stage I can imagine I will have to draw a town plan for Pitkirtly to make sure I don’t make some hideous continuity error as I progress through the series.
There is also a caravan site in this latest novel. I’ve based it on the one at Pettycur Bay, near Kinghorn, further east along the coast of Fife. The place has always intrigued me as the caravans look as if they cling to the cliffs and would fall over the edge if a strong wind got up. This inspired me to add a cliff chase and rescue scene near the start of the story.