Tuesday 28 March 2017

Where is Statton?

Could this be Statton?
"Where is Statton?" Simon's steady gaze demanded an answer.

He's not the first to ask, and he's probably not the last either. The answer started in the 1980's when I first decided to write novels and stories, for fun and profit.

I created three fictional cities and towns, make that four, which I feature in my writing. Banksia Grove, Statton, Dingo Ridge, and Errabunga. There are others I remember now too, but I'll talk about them another time.

Banksia Grove was originally based upon my hometown of Rockhampton. It has the same schools, buildings, and streets as Rocky, only with different names. You see, when I started writing, I used to write myself into the stories. I would be the guy wearing the superhero cape, alter-ego of the nerdy guy - which wasn't far from the truth. Two of my favourite characters I used to write about back then were people I wanted to be. As I wrote more and more, and re-read my work, I realised how dorky it seemed. So, I created a new name for the town.

I think I picked the Grove part from Little House On The Prairie (we used to call it Dunny In The Desert). Banksia came from an Australian plant. It seemed to fit well for a country town that desperately wanted recognition as a city.

Later, I realised that Banksia Grove was too small to cater for all these adventurous stories. It must have been like Smallville, Superman's hometown as a boy, attracting all this trouble. Plus it seemed stupid for a little place to have so much property-destroying action.

So, in 1988, I created the city of Statton - originally based upon Brisbane, only closer to Banksia Grove than Brisbane was to Rockhampton. For those who have read Dead Cell, the name will strike a few memory cells. Since the 1990's, Statton has developed to be a hybrid of Brisbane's CBD and Ipswich.

Errabunga was a beach town, sort of like Maroochydore on Queensland's Sunshine Coast. I named that after my high school sports team; the name was an aboriginal word for fish, I think.

Then I created Dingo Ridge. I never based it on any particular bush town, although that's what it is. You will see it mentioned in one of the "Easter Eggs" I included in Twelve Strokes of Midnight.

Now, the only problem I can see is, what happened to Brisbane and the Gold Coast? I have mentioned them both in Dead Cell, so now I have to figure out exactly WHERE in Queensland they are!

You can find copies of Dead Cell and Twelve Strokes of Midnight on Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo and Apple iBooks.

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