I spend too much time sitting at my computer, so for obvious reasons, I like to go for a walk in the morning. Normally, my friend Ana and I follow the public footpaths, but due to the heavy rain and now snow this has made many of them impassable so we now stick to walking on the roads.

My new novel, As the Crow Flies is going to be set in the landscape that surrounds my village. In the novel I’m changing the name of the village, plus creating a new layout and adding a few buildings that don’t exist. Where I live is steeped in history. Much of it dates back to Roman Britain. A nearby town located on an estuary that leads into the North Sea, fought a battle in 991 AD to stop invading Vikings.

In 1136 the Knights Templar once owned a large area of land which was granted to them by Queen Matilda of Boulogne, the wife of King Stephen. On the land surrounding my village once stood a mansion house, a bakehouse, brewery, dairy, granary, smithy, gardens, dovecote, watermill and windmill. So I have decided in As The Crow Flies to call the village Temple End. Temple End sits on the outskirts of a market town.

My friend and I set out to walk to a small local church that stand on the outskirt of another village. Have looked up the history of the area, I’ve discovered that I can change the name of that village quite easily to Broadwell. In the past it was thought that the real village got its name from a broad well, or a spring rising to the east of the location where Broadwell Hall once stood until it was destroyed by fire. The church of The Holy Trinity stands outside the village next to a farm down a country lane. The church dates back to the 11th century and has a wooden belfry that continues 3 bells cast by Miles Grays 1609.

Now the framework for the setting is coming together for As the Crow Flies not only in my head but on paper too.

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