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Weird Trails – Editor Blog: Adrian Middleton

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Hardly a guest blog this time as we hand over to our very own Adrian Middleton, who also happens to be the editor of Weird Trails – Urban Fantasy Walks. Still to come over the weekend: blogs from Mike Chinn, James Brogden and Theresa Derwin.

“Why a walking tour of Digbeth? Didn’t someone get stabbed there? Isn’t it full of drunken ravers? These are some of the questions raised. Well, urban myth and urban fantasy rarely happen in the posh part of town, and Digbeth is very much the crucible in which Birmingham’s steel was forged (Nice analogy that). It is, to my mind, no coincidence that Weird Trails launches midway through the new BBC TV series Peaky Blinders, although it is fortuitous that it is only the second book out that covers the subject of that particular gang (albeit briefly), so the serendipity might do us some good.

“Rich layers of history are at the root of any urban myth, urban legend or urban fantasy. Digbeth has those in spades. Pagans lived nearby before the original Anglo-Saxon settlement whas established somewhere under the area, and the remains of the old Manor House and castle (probably) are hidden undergound waiting to be restored in the next few years. Ancient markets were held there and the immigrants made it their home of little choice. Battles were waged there, fires cleansed it and the gangs shed blood on its streets. Jobs and slums went side-by-side back in the day. All of these things, along with the many pubs, churches and tenements have been built up and torn down with alarming regularity, often with little or no regard to what may lie beneath.

“I guarantee that Birmingham’s true history will be exposed by Digbeth’s archaeology. In the mean time, Weird Trails offers an insight into the rich tapestry of the second city, and has been made to perhaps inspire writers of urban horror, urban fantasy and even TV screenplays to look again at Brummagem, and find it a great place to tell a story.

“I’m hoping I can pass the reins of Weird Trails on to other local editors and writers in other towns. Already Derby, Leeds, Northampton, Stirling and Wolverhampton have been suggested. All great places where the dark and mysterious might happen alongside the mundane.”

Posted by Fringeworks in Fringeworks News on Friday, September 20th 2013 at 12:55 AM
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Weird Trails – Guest Blog: Pauline E. Dungate

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Day four of our guest blogs leading up to the launch of Weird Trails – Urban Fantasy Walks brings us something from another of the ladies, Pauline E Dungate.

“Birmingham is at the centre of so much and has history dating from the Bronze Age. It has seen a lot of incomers and people passing through, all of whom bring their own myths and legends with them. Not only can the fantastic creep in from all corners of Britain, it follows the people who come here.

“I came to Birmingham from the south of London and have been here for forty years so I probably know the city better than my home county. Unlike London, all human habitats are within easy reach and it is a very short journey from city centre to rural countryside. Digbeth is just one facet.

“If I were to pick another town (besides London) to set a piece of urban fantasy in, it would be Rye in Sussex. Partly because I know the place – my grandparents lived there – partly because it has history, legend and access to the continent.”

Posted by Fringeworks in Guest Author Blog on Thursday, September 19th 2013 at 12:24 AM
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