So today has been miserable, but quite eventful as I continue writing my novel Manchester At Midnight. Currently i’m writing about Ancoats which was once the most immigrant heavy part of Manchester, known as “Little Italy”. Manchester adopts the worker bee as its logo which I always felt rather quite macabre as the city was built on the backs of thousands of child workers. Not really the image the city goes for today.
I’ve also finished the Angel of History, which is one of the stranger books that i’ve read this year, and extremely enjoyable. It starts with an interview between the devil and death, and follows the life of an immigrant who struggles to cling onto his mental health as his friends die from AIDS. It’s dark, funny, and packs one hell of a punch.
I’m 100 pages through By Light Alone a novel by Adam Roberts, who if you don’t know is the guy behind the Tolkien spoofs: Soddit and Sellamillion. It’s a SCI-FI story which looks into world where people can photosynthesise through their hair, and it’s as mad as it sounds. The story is centred around a kidnapping, and quickly drags us into a world of greed, poverty, and the understanding that while technology may advance it is society that dictates its use.
It’s wonderful to write a story centred around children, especially the current story which follows all the children who lost their lives working in the harsh conditions of the factories and mills, only to be rescued by a hard-as-nails witch who decides that enough is enough, and closes the factory down.
As i’ve mentioned in my other posts, I want to write a children’s book with adult themes, and it’s easy to find inspiration when you look at the types of lives these kids had. When I started writing this book I knew that I wanted to talk about this cities history so people can enjoy it for different reasons, and not have to rely on their knowledge of the city itself.
Manchester has a rich history, with interests popping up across the ages, and all manner of horrific incidents that seem to have bled into the soil itself, making the city one of the strangest around. I am interesting to see what people think. My main goal is to tell a story that I find interesting, and keeps the views I had towards the city as a young boy, which was a kind of fascinated fear as I grew up in a small town desperate to be anything but itself.