Locations for 'The Methuselah Paradox'
Locations and World-building - why Manchester?
'The Methuselah Paradox' nearly wasn't set in Manchester at all.
In the earliest drafts, all the action took place in London. It was a fellow writer and friend who suggested that moving the story to Manchester might give more scope.
Firstly, it separated Emma from her parents, Tom and Eva, giving her a life of her own; and The University of Manchester (UoM) has a world-class faculty of Biology, medicine and health; Emma is likely to have chosen the Developmental Genetics module.... and once known as University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) , it also suited other elements of my story!
And so Emma moved up to Manchester, which meant an intense period of research for me (thank goodness for Google Maps and StreetView!) as I worked out where she would live, how long it would take her to travel (by bus or on foot) between the various locations? Where was her workplace, Xeon Genetics? How long would it take her to get from there to the bus stop, or to the restaurant where she was due to meet her friends ? What did Emma's flat look like, or Moran's home in Rossendale? All of these elements would be crucial if the story was to feel believable - if I had Emma getting from one location to another in ten minutes, a native of the city might say "Hang on - that takes a good thirty minutes by bus or car!" Poof! Credibility has gone out of the window....
I have to say, this part of world-building is something I do enjoy!
I Left: the rather impressive country pile which became James Moran's home in 'The Methuselah Paradox'. But what else would it become?
Above: James Moran (Richard Oliver) - the enigma!