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One of the major contributions which determines and distinguishes a great movie from a not-so-great movie is location. When moving home, it’s all about location, location, location. We live in a three-dimensional world with great emphasis put on the material aspects of life. So why not make the most of it? Being there (location) is what triggers our five natural senses so that we can experience – and enjoy – the environment. Our emotions complete the job in hand and help us to tread new paths as we climb the ladder to whatever it is that we aspire.

Staying with the movie theme for a little while longer, it’s no surprise that the great films of the 20th and 21st Centuries were based on themes taken from novels. In turn, it is equally essential that the location aspect in a novel is just as, if not more, important. After all, this is where most good movies originate.

“The Meadow” novel is no exception. It is has only recently been published, but one day it will make its ‘marque’ in the world of entertainment.

When Peter Jackson was in tune with his colleagues and advisers debating the best locations for “The Lord of The Rings,” they couldn’t go past their back yard in New Zealand. And why not? There was an abundance of choice regarding the backdrop to such a wonderful trilogy of films which will go down in history as one of the ‘greats’ and what a marvellous job they did of it.

My favourite movie of them all is “Gladiator” and my hat goes off to Ridley Scott for the choices of location. From England to Italy and Malta, then finishing in Morocco, Scott Free Productions did an exemplary job. Thanks to the marvellous accompaniment of music by Hans Zimmer and Lisa Gerrard, a masterpiece was created.

What possibly helps to make “The Meadow” stand out against other novels is not only the rich choice for location but also for the time span that it covers. Beginning before recorded history the scene opens in ancient Mexica. I use that word carefully because I’m referring to the region on the South American continent long before Mexico was introduced as a country. It climaxes on the Himalayan Mountains in modern times having covered locations around the world in its quest to cover time and place.

What is important to yours truly is the fact that a lot of the locations featured in modern times are focussed around my area of North East England. I live in a quaint, picturesque part of Tees Valley, surrounded by hills and valleys and of course the inevitable industry that can blot any landscape. However, it is the polarities in between the blots that help us to appreciate what we have. I hope that between Elfreda (my writing partner) and I, the right choices were made when we picked such places as Elwick Village, Hartlepool Marina, the Billingham International Folklore Festival and Beamish Open Air Museum. All these locations are within easy reach to me and we tried to make the most of what appeared to radiate the best energy when bringing to life the story around “The Meadow.”

All manner of emotions are evoked when the reader mentally places his/herself into one of these locations as the storyline unfolds. Swathed in primordial mystery, it blazes a trail through four devastating lives and personalities, from ancient times to contemporary Pakistan, before luring the lead characters into the twenty first century, where we meet them as Steve Ballantire and Eva Norman. But they do not arrive here alone. Obsessed with revenge many centuries old, their nemesis, representing the Dark side, is in hot pursuit of the protagonists.

In my quest to emphasize this short tribute to the importance of using locations, I have added a five minute video below which provides footage of the four very English locations which helped to weave the rich tapestry which is “The Meadow.”

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