When there was only one novel in the Dereham Connections, and only one author of those novels, keeping tabs of where everybody lived, the roads through the town, the hills around it, and so on, was relatively straightforward. When another author joined the fun, and needed to know where to set his characters walking, he had no access to my internal map. I therefore needed to map out the town and its surrounds for his education, entertainment and immersion.
I like maps anyway, so the need to make a map was no great imposition. In fact, I enjoyed the process. The map never extends far enough, though. In the first draft of Node 4.5, Genial, characters have walked off to the south of the town, into new territory. The urge to create an actual map of this new land is strong.
So, for those who have read Sorrow Mystica, and have read drafts of the other Connections, here is the map (so far) of that imaginary Dereham.
Look, there’s Derebury Hill, there’s The Tump. There’s the infamous Copsehill! There’s The White Lion, where the hippies gather, and there’s The Swan where the smooths go. (Apologies to all map readers for the confusingly-coloured railway line in this version of the map!)
What’s that? You can’t see the town centre very well? Here. let me help…
As I say, there are whole areas of the map missing: the recently-wandered south, where Simon and Julie found the village of Hammersmith (in ruins); Burnt Norton, a village to the north-west of Dereham, where Imogen, Kate, and Jake live; Southleigh, to the south-west, where Heather and Mary live, and various people go to, or went to, college; and the villages around Southleigh, in one of which the mysterious Anna lives.
One day, the map will grow. I’ll keep you up-to-date.