Geography: The Big Picture

I love to travel.  At the time this blog gets posted, I will be in Japan.  Travel to foreign parts is always full of surprises, and one hopes most of them will be pleasant.

When writing Where Pademelons Play, I drew on my first-hand knowledge of three points on the surface of the globe.  First is Melbourne, Australia, where I grew up, and where (in thinly-veiled disguise) most of the action takes place.  It is where most of my characters were born.

Second is Petrozavodsk on the bank of Lake Onega in north-western Russia.  It can get very, very cold here, as Matt discovers when he pays a visit.  It is Elena’s birthplace and nemesis.

Third is an un-named Malaysian rainforest.  It is always hot and steamy in such places, as Harry and Sticks discover when they visit.  Baharudin – one of my important secondary characters – was born in the vicinity.

There is one thing I have learnt about the human condition as a result of my extensive travel experience. Ordinary people everywhere aspire just to keep on living on the patch of turf they occupy and call home. They hope to end their life a little more prosperous they when they began it. And they hope their children will have an easier life than theirs.

This, in my experience, is a universal aspiration.