One of the questions that I get asked a lot about my Sam Spallucci books is, “Are all the places in the books real?” The easiest answer to this is, “Usually.” For example, most of the locations in Lancaster exist in the real world with the exception of Luneside University, which happens to be Lancaster University transported magically down onto the side of the river Lune. All the rest of the locations in Sam’s adopted home town are more or less as you find them. There is the Ashton Memorial in Williamsons’ Park, the Priory Church of St Mary, the Borough and indeed 15a Dalton Square, all of which are real locations.
But what about Sam’s originalhome town of Wellington which we first visit in Shadows of Lancaster? Does this have a basis in fact?
Indeed it does. Wellington first came into existence when I wrote the as yet unpublished Fallen Angel. I needed a small market town with an impressive gothic church so I went with the old adage, “write about what you know.” All I reallyknew as a teenager, was my home town of Wellingborough in Northamptonshire. So I used that.
Specifically, I used my parish church of All Hallows.
All Hallows was a perfect model for All Saints in Sam’s world. A gothic beauty, it is almost virtually identical in the books as it is in real life: a towering spire, next to a thriving market, the ornate rood screen with the lifelike figure of the crucified Jesus in calm repose.
And, yes, there is the font.
Now, the font in All Hallows may not have the enigmatic inscription “Knaves Are Not Our Responsibility”, but it is a fine piece of stone craftsmanship, nonetheless. As a chorister there, I witnessed many babies getting dunked in the large stone bowl. What I can absolutely testify to is that there is nothing supernatural about it and there are no mysteriouswatery noises coming from beneath it, even though Wellingborough was a spa town in Tudor and Stuart times.
Speaking of All Saints, Songbird – A Nightingale Storyis now out online and in a select few shops. It tells the tale of a young girl who rises from the poverty of Victorian England, to become Nightingale, the leader of the Children of Cain, the group of vampires in the universe of Sam Spallucci. As we follow her journey, she spends time at the church of All Saints in Wellington, where she witnesses a number of supernatural events surrounding the font and is subjected to the sadistic wrath of the parish priest before being rescued by her vampiric father, Doulos.
If you want to treat yourself to a copy, it is available to buy over on Amazonor, if you want a signed copy, feel free to drop me a line at www.aschambers.co.uk.
Until next time, keep looking for what lurks in the shadows.