Sunday, October 26, 2008

Location, location, location

Mes Amis

Its strange to read THE GOOD SON again, to see it as a finished product. I've been searching for segments to perform for the first public reading of the work, and while there are moments I'm proud of and other moments I'm not, what strikes me most is how I look at the city of Dundee.

The way it changes.

Those parts ofthe city I include in the book which reflect reality tend to be those that have some kind of meaning for me. Places that truly exist are places I know, places that struck me in some fashion. And to read about them fictionally makes me realise how rapidly the city is changing.

Since publishing the book, I have to admit I realise that it is time we said RIP to:

Mickey Coyles: one of the most relaxed pubs, with some of the best steak pies in the city (the lease is currently up for sale and the doors are shut)

The old Washington Cafe: described in the book as, "small, with green vinyl-covered pews and plastic tables. It shouldn't have survived past 1950 and as such was homely and welcoming. Like a time capsule. It was comforting to think that among all the changes that had occurred in the city centre, some places just kept on going." Now, of course, the cafe has undergone a facelift. For two years I lived across from the Washington and loved the vinyl pews and the booths and the old atmosphere. Now its been redone with rounded tables and chairs and just... its not the same to me.

The car park across from the PI, J. McNee's offices on Courthouse Square has become student accomodation.

And all of these changes in the space of a few months. Its one of the reasons I wanted to write about Dundee; this is a city in constant flux. With the incoming of new money from medical research and, of course, the computing industry, certain aspects of life here are changing. Mostly for the better, I think. The centre is changing. The riverfront is undergoing a facelift.

But its a pisser if you're trying to write a novel that captures the city in a moment. Not that I care, because change and growth make for good fiction. And if the city is changing along with the characters in the novel... well, that's got to be a good thing.

Au revoir



Dave White said...

Cannot wait to read it.

Anonymous said...

Half way through it and cannot put it down.

Anonymous said...


thank you - - hope the second half proves as good!

Russel (who can't be bothered logging in)

Anonymous said...

Yep. The second half was good too. I have posted a review on Amazon. Good luck with the launch.

Russel said...

Thank you so much for the review - - absolutely stoked to see that people are enjoying the novel!