So today has been a wonderful day as i’ve finished my first draft of the novel Manchester At Midnight. It’s been wonderful to stumble upon a project I wasn’t really planning to do, but thanks to a little impatience and interest in folklore and history I got it done.
The story has to be the most enjoyable so far, and there really weren’t any hiccups or problems as I pushed through it. I had a vague idea of where it was going, but wanted to focus more on the characters than the overall plot. The story developed into some interesting ways and I managed to add some scary moments, with a few heartwarming moments.
I grew up in a small town outside Manchester, so I had this idea that the city was something scary and fascinating, and over the years my view on this subject has intensified. I wanted to write a story about the personalities of cities, and that led me to ask the question what a city like Manchester would have.
For those that don’t know, Manchester was the forerunner of the Industrial Age, which meant it was heavily backed by the child workforce, so there’s a lot of blood built into the city. It’s regarded as one of the dirtiest cities (and proud of it). It was originally a Celtic city. It has been occupied twice by the Romans. The Anglo-Saxons built strange things here. It’s a city of poets, and it’s very weird. I love it.
I knew I wanted to write a children’s story where it doesn’t matter if you don’t know the city because it deals with history, moving on, and masks. Everyone in the city wears a mask to protect themselves, which is important as Manchester in the novel has stolen midnight, which it fills with all sorts of magic.
There’s flying books which act like ghosts. Kings who all live in one castle, constantly trying to one up each other on who is the better king. There are two witches who run a tea and coffee shop. The city is protected by glass bees which pollinate the cities buildings so it will grow. There’s: Trolls, a paper fairy, wax knights, lions, and some really dangerous people.
I look forward to sharing more with you, but for now i’m going to work on some other projects, and perhaps find some artists to help the book come alive.