The origins of Trentbridge

Originally the story started out being based in Cambridge where I live. However, as I was writing the first book in the series it soon became obvious I couldn’t use my hometown for a couple of reasons. The first was the cost of property in the area. I don’t want to go into too much detail as this stage as it might spoil the plot for you but I needed a place where the price of houses was a lot less than the average in Cambridge.

Also, there is a need for a part of the town to be separated by a river with no direct road to it and Cambridge just doesn’t work in that respect. So I decided to have a mix of two places – Stoke-on-Trent and Cambridge. And so Trentbridge was the name I came up with.

The map shows you the various areas of the town, some of them based on Cambridge. Trumpington and Milton are actual parts of Cambridge. Cherrywood is based on a place called Cherryhinton and Pickstone was just a name I came up with.

Pickstone and Fen Road are a major part of book three, which will be called Dead Lucky.

The name Asbury Park has an interesting story behind it. In Cambridge, we have an area called Arbury and a few years ago on the outskirts, the council gave permission for a new housing estate. Originally they were going to call it Arbury Park. However, Arbury doesn’t have a great reputation locally and so they changed the name to Orchard Park, even though there was never an orchard there.

Being a Bruce Springsteen fan, every time I drove past and saw the original name signs of Arbury Park I would always call out ‘call it Asbury Park’ because it was next to Arbury and they would only have to change the second letter from an r to an s. But they never did. So when I needed a name for a large housing estate in the first book I decided to use the name.

Some people have asked why the series is called ‘Trentbridge Tales’?

The answer is because I intended (and still do) each book to be about different characters rather than a series about the same people, although some characters will appear in most books. So I wanted to make it more about events in the town rather than a person.