For one reason or another, there are always places we can’t go when we do a book tour, sometimes because it’s a made up location, sometimes because time/cost/distance/the law interfere. In any case, this really grinds my gears because it means I have an incomplete spreadsheet and this is something I really don’t need in my life. Ellie was kind enough to give us very detailed answers to our barrage of questions about locations, so even though we couldn’t visit them, we learnt some pretty cool stuff;
- Five Mile – A made up town because of the content of the novel, Ellie (and I assume publishers?) didn’t want to give a real town a bad name. However, she did tell us that if you travel up to the Mallee, and go to Ouyen and then take the turn off to Murrayville and drive for a while there are lots of little towns that fit the bill – Murrayville being a very close representation. Fun fact: It was originally called Nine Mile but the name was changed at the last minute because there is an actual town called Nine Mile.
- North Coburg Secondary – An entirely made up location
- Grey’s House – Another made up location
- Homeless Shelter – We did a bit of research into this and we are pretty sure we found the correct information. Apparently this shelter used to exist but was shut down for some reason. Probably because we have a country run by moronic, unsympathetic, money hungry, corporate giant douche twats who make us look like a backwards country.
- Mutual Systems Incorporated – Ellie said this was an imagined location but we mentioned to her that I always pictured it where the portrait of the Indigenous child is on the building on Hosier Lane and Ellie said that was was kind of a perfect spot (huzzah!!)
- Hundertwasser School – I hope she doesn’t mind, but this is Ellie’s response to our question asking if this was based on LaTrobe near Melbourne Central – “No – but I used to date a boy who lived in a warehouse flat on the corner of Russell Street and Little bourke, right in the thick of things. That was a beautiful space inside, once you made it up all the stairs. The Hundertwasser School I sort of located in that funny corner of Spring St, right before it meets Victoria Parade – there are some old buildings there, one of which used to be an artist’s squat, I think (although again, those might have been revamped now). I remember going there at 5 in the morning, while I was helping to make a short film with the VCE, and trying to wake up the guy inside on the second floor by throwing things at his window – he had all the film shoot lights stashed in the flat! (we never managed to rouse him)” – We interpreted this as the location being at Spring Street and Victoria Parade but the inside looking like that of the warehouse on Russell and Little Bourke. We chose not to visit this location because it’s in a difficult place to drive to, we weren’t sure if it would still be there and weren’t entirely sure of what we were looking for.
- The Lion Enclosure – We did visit the lion enclosure but it has been re-vamped since the book was written so it looked different when we visited (which we only found out recently thanks to @nicolehasread)