I’m delighted to be able to announce that my collection of short stories about the eerier side of this city of secrets is now available to buy! Taking The Red Way is available from today at Amazon.
Milton Keynes is a place of contrasts: startling modern in a lot of ways, with a new-build history of less than a century but laid over a space far older. People know MK for the endless roundabouts and the concrete cows are infamous, but the concrete and the glass hide deeper, darker secrets.
“Taking the Red Way: Stories from the dark side of Milton Keynes” is a collection of short stories that explore the new city of Milton Keynes, my adopted home town. In the spirit of the modern gothic, the stories take everyday encounters and experiences and look at the ways that these may actually be anything but normal. I’ve lived here for 21 years, and explored extensively to compile the material for this book. The ‘Red Way’ in the title refers to the network of walking and cycling ways that are part of the structure of the city, but also harks back to an older and more sinister sense that these paths may have been trodden in blood and anger in earier times.
My stories look at how its inhabitants (old and new) make sense of the eerie spaces that sit beneath, above and alongside the day-to-day ultra-modern veneer of the city and particularly how it appears to people who visit rather than those who live here full-time. I use the contrasts between an ancient landscape and what has come later, to examine our methods of constructing meaning in places, and have been informed by psychogeography as well as general reading of folk tales and conversations with local residents. This is not a standard guide-book. This is a route-map to places you only go if you really want to explore the dark side of the city.