Friday, 8 April 2016

A blog tour and some photographs

I'm not doing a proper blog post this week, because my posts are popping up all over the place in a blog tour to launch Back Home, which is officially published on 18 April. (There is a launch party a few days earlier, which is your first chance to get hold of a copy. If you are a regular visitor to the blog and haven’t seen an invitation to party, please scroll down the page to find out more about it.)

I'm posting some photos on Facebook and Twitter that show places that are featured in the book as they are today. The first of these was the Burlington Arcade, now a respectable (even posh) shopping arcade; in 1859 it was well-known as a place where men met prostitutes.

The second photo shows the famous seven dials sundial that marks the centre of what was, when it was built, rather a desirable development. By 1859, the place was an utter slum and the column had been removed because it was thought by the authorities that it provided a meeting place for the mob. 

Here it is as described in my book:
We arrived safely at a little plinth that marked the centre of the neighbourhood. Here there had once stood a pillar with the seven sundials that gave Seven Dials its name, but the pillar was long gone. Only a few stones, too low even for a mounting block, remained in the middle of this square. Not that the area was square. It marked the spot where seven streets met. In whatever direction you faced, sharply angled buildings stabbed toward you. The effect was disorienting, for each street looked the same. Furthermore, at this confluence, all the buildings that the traveller found himself looking at were public houses. Only dirty street signs, high on the walls of the narrow roads, provided any clue as to the direction that you should follow.
Today, of course, it's the centre of a very nice part of London and the sundials have been reinstated.

More photos will follow over the next few days. Meanwhile, I hope you will read my posts on other people's blogs. Different people asked me to write in very different ways – everything from a simple excerpt to addressing particular issues about life in 1859. I hope that you might also see stuff on their blogs that interest you. It's always nice to get out of our genre ghettos and explore the wider world of books.


  1. For those of us so far away, the photos are great! I only wish I could help you celebrate the launch.

    The new header is great looking - I like that tag line. You keep us intrigued, Tom.

  2. Thank you. There are more photos to come.

    The tag line was produced by Accent. That (with the cover) was created on the basis of a very short 'treatment' before the book was written. I actually used the cover as inspiration for the writing, which worked surprisingly well!

  3. ... when a picture is worth several tens of thousands of words! How fascinating. I want to find a good image to write from.

    For now, I have pre-ordered my copy of *your* inspiration. I have my suspicions that will do.