Behind the Scenes of Nowhere to be Found

Ever wondered at the real locations behind the fictional story? Here’s a tour behind the scenes of Nowhere to be Found, set in my very real home town of Southampton!

Ellingham lake: the place where it all begins. My inspiration for the book and a wonderful place to swim, where I’ve never found a dead body. (I promise.)

A behind the scenes tour of Nowhere to be Found wouldn’t be complete without the “dirty beige lego brick” and home to DS Kate Munro – Southampton Central Police Station. A terrible photo, yes, but it looms between two dual carriageways and I didn’t fancy parking up outside and snapping away.

(Southampton’s pretty, yes?? Ha!)

Scott’s office: When Kate and Max visit Scott Barker at his office in chapter 13, this is the place I had in mind. I worked here for 7 years and have many fond memories. Including it was my little nod to my former colleagues who I miss every day.

Quick writers’ tip: don’t spend a whole day googling common UK trucks and their tyres. Or, maybe, do? I had a lovely time and can now tell a Hilux from a Navara at 20 paces. I bought this early on and it still lives on my desk: Alex Sherwood’s Ford Ranger. 

Apparently, watching 15 series of Grey’s Anatomy doesn’t make you qualified for writing complicated, medical-heavy chapters. This guy is my savour: Dr Matt Evans. Unwitting muse, dedicated doctor, impossibly tolerant when answering the weirdest questions, and one of the smartest people I know. 

And so, our behind the scenes tour takes us here! Hello, Portswood! Home of Dougie Brewer and Portswood police station, where Max first meets Kate again. I lived here for three years, and walked up this high street most days.

It would have been impossible to write Nowhere to be Found without Dan, my favourite copper. The other half of my technical team, remaining faceless so he doesn’t get mobbed by adoring fans. Terrible influence, source of my deteriorating language, and all round fantastic bloke. 

When I write a book, I always have a strong idea of what the characters look like. And this is Max. When I found these photos, Max instantly became clear. It is, of course, Sam Claflin, but I didn’t know that at the time. (As a follow up note, Max is by far one of my favourite characters. I wonder why… And yes, I am now very familiar with the works of Sam Claflin…)

Post-it planning! This is Nowhere to be Found, plotted out on my office floor. Each colour is a different storyline, each small tab one bit of evidence found in the investigation. This was fine, until the dog got involved…

In case you enjoy Nowhere to be Found and fancy reading the first book in the series, Ask Me No Questions, here are a few behind the scene shots from there. Southampton Common, where it all begins.  (I know, I know. Gorgeous, huh?!)

And finally, here ends my tour of Nowhere to be Found – back at the lake. Here I am, on a wet and windy day, following my usual swim. Smiling, even though my feet were numb. Try a bit of outdoor swimming, you might like it. And I hope you enjoy the book. xx

(Click here to buy Nowhere to be Found, on Amazon, Hive, or a signed copy from my local independent bookshop, October Books.)

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