Please welcome Tony Ballantyne to The Qwillery. Tony's most recent novel is Dream London, which is out in the US and Canada on October 29th. I asked him "Why London?"
‘Why London? Why not twist Paris, New York or some other well known city?’
Funnily enough the sequel, should it be written, will be set in Dream Paris...
Actually, as a resident of Greater Manchester, the obvious place for me to write about would have been Dream Manchester, but that would have been a completely different novel.
Dream London has a claustrophobic quality to it. Strangely, London is a smaller place than Manchester, the streets are narrower, the buildings more crowded together.
Land is cheaper in Manchester. Returning to the area fifteen years ago I rode a taxi north on the Oldham Road and I was struck by the sense of space. The wider streets, the empty lots where businesses had failed and no one had bothered to reclaim the land. Back then, it seemed that the principle industry was lots of weeds and rubble, fenced in and secured by padlocked gates.
All that has changed. The new trams run through the city centre, they glide past nineteenth century red brick buildings cleaned and polished for the 21st century. Manchester is a place that knows its foundations, it's a self starting, self made city that does things it own way. Beings trying to subvert Manchester couldn't buy their way into the roots of the city, they would simply be yet another faction trying to establish themselves.
In Dream London, the city changes a little every night and the people change a little every day. The city has been sold to someone, or something, and the populace are trapped amongst the narrow streets, preyed on by their fellows. The establishment is written right the way through London. London has more history than Manchester, the roots of privilege run deep in London, they take far longer to dig out.
Solaris, October 29, 2013 (US/Canada)
October 10, 2013 (UK)
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 416 pages
In Dream London the city changes a little every night and the people change a little every day. Captain Jim Wedderburn has looks, style and courage by the bucketful. He’s adored by women, respected by men and feared by his enemies. He’s the man to find out who has twisted London into this strange new world, and he knows it. But the towers are growing taller, the parks have hidden themselves away and the streets form themselves into strange new patterns. There are people sailing in from new lands down the river, new criminals emerging in the East End and a path spiralling down to another world. Everyone is changing, no one is who they seem to be, and Captain Jim Wedderburn is beginning to understand that he’s not the man he thought he was...
Cover and book design by by Joey Hi-Fi.
Website ~ Twitter @TonyBallantyne
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