Best Friend or Betrayer?
As writing progresses, I've discovered I need to know more about Lily and Lou when they were aged 19.
What are their homes like, where do they live and which college are they at?
At 18, Lily is living with her mother in Waltham Cross. Lou, also 18, is living with her mother in Enfield and the girls both attend Hertford Regional College at Broxbourne. The college is just a 15-minute walk for Lily but is a 40 minute train ride for Lou.
This might sound a fairly standard set-up, but why is it necessary to consider it and what impact does it have on the book?
The girls are in fairly ordinary home situations, living with their mothers in their own parts of town, but attending the same college. In Merry Go Round, I describe how their friendship begins, whilst in college. In Best Friend or Betrayer, I need to flesh that out further, so had to find a college and houses which are realistically placed. It took me an age to find the right college as I was searching for sixth-form college. When I dropped sixth-form from the search, I discovered that Hertford Regional College in Broxbourne. Whilst it is only a 15-minute walk for Lily, it was a 40 minute tube journey for Lou. I didn’t think this was unreasonable as it took me 40 mins to get to college by bus back in 1981. I have emailed the college in Broxbourne to see what courses they had running in those days for sixth form students.