Sometimes when I’m writing about a place I know fairly well, I forget other people haven’t been there. Usually I can paint a fairly good picture and country towns in SA are similar in set out, buildings made with similar material and so on.
Note, I did say usually.
The Purple Roads edit raised a few questions.
‘How far is the depot from Spalding?’
‘Where is the satellite depot from the main depot, Clare from Spalding?’ The list went on…
During a meeting with my editor, I suggested I draw some maps as to how I imagined the setting and that we publish them in the front of the book. At the time my editor thought that was a great idea, so I set about drawing them.
I can’t claim to be an artist! And my memory of childhood areas isn’t always how these places are now.
Spalding in particular has been changed to suit the story line in Purple Roads so these maps aren’t exactly the way these places are in real life. I have a saying that you can’t let the truth get in the way of a good story! So yes, I twist things when I need to.
I don’t know if the roadhouse, which is just near the railway line in Spalding, is still operational (it was when I was a kid) and my sister tells me the house I remember from the long journey home from boarding school in Adelaide, on the road which heads towards Jamestown isn’t there any more. She insists it’s NEVER been there, but I’m older than her and I think it was!
So these maps tell the tales of my thinking.
We must have ironed out these setting problems because by the end of the final edit, my editor told me the maps weren’t needed.
If you’ve been to any of these areas recently, or live around there, I’d love to see some photos or let me know if the main street in Spalding is still how I remember it!
** You can click on the images to make them bigger or download and print.