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Author Jasper Fforde to set latest book in Swindon
10:30am Wednesday 27th January 2010 in News
NOVELIST and Swindon advocate Jasper Fforde has said he will bring the town back to the masses when it features in his next book.
Mr Fforde, 49, literally put Swindon on the map when he based his series of Thursday Next novels in a parallel version of the town.
At a book signing yesterday in the Waterstone’s in the Brunel Centre for his latest read Shades of Grey, he revealed he would be reprising the Thursday Next series.
The science fiction writer, who lived near Swindon for 12 years, said he was happy to be an ambassador for the town.
“Oxford has (Inspector) Morse and Swindon can have Thursday Next, it will be rather fun,” he said.
“Swindon has got an awful lot going for it.”
The sixth installment, featuring detective Thursday Next, is set for release next year and Mr Fforde said he already had about 20,000 words written.
He was unable to say at this stage what Swindon landmarks would feature, but said there was definitely a hunger among his fans to see the Thursday Next series return.
“A lot of people want to see it all the time, but obviously as a writer you have to do other stuff as well.”
His latest novel published this month, Shades of Grey, is set in the post apocalyptic dystopia dominated by visual colour so people’s position in the social hierarchy is dictated by the colours they can see.
“It’s a departure for me, it’s Jasper but writing about stuff I wouldn’t normally write about,” said Mr Fforde.
Mr Fforde has lived in Hay-on-Wye in Powys, which boasts over 30 bookshops and a famous literary festival, for the last 10 years. Before that he spent 12 years in Marlborough and often took his children to Swindon on Sundays to use their trikes.
He said: “Swindon was always our main town and I just thought it was the perfect place to set a series of books because everyone sets books in places that are fantastically important like London and Bristol.
“I was trying to redress that unfair balance.”
Mr Fforde has been to the Swindon festival of literature twice and in September 2005 he led an open-top bus tour around the town, which took in the Magic Roundabout three times.
He was also the first author to speak at the new Central Library on its opening.
Fforde fans Jan and Casper Helmer, had come from Ramsbury to meet the author.
Mrs Helmer said: “He knows the area and he gets the nuances in there.
“There’s not many books written about the Swindon area – when you are reading it you feel right at home when you know the area.”