Happy Christmas (Eve) readers,

There’s an Irish-named pub in the town where I live here in the south of Spain. I won’t name it, for reasons that will soon become clear.

It’s not my ‘regular’ haunt – and to be frank, I don’t drink often enough to call any drinking establishment ‘my regular’. If you are like me, then hangovers seem to get worse with every year that passed since I hit the age of thirty. I digress.

When writing my first book – Six Hard Days in Andalusia – I based the events in and around our local towns and resorts. I guess I figured that when writing one’s first novel, I should adhere to the maxim of ‘write what you know’, and our part of Málaga province is certainly full of character and characters.

Anyway, in one scene, one of the key protagonists, Jack Dennett, a recently-divorced Brit who is about to have the holiday from hell, visits a pub while trying to figure out how to get himself out of a problem (spoiler: he doesn’t and things get worse, much worse!). I based the venue on said Irish pub in my local town BUT (importantly) made it into a terrible pub as the story demanded, and, as I hadn’t yet come up with an alternative name, I used the real name as a placeholder because, what kind of idiot would forget to change that, right?

Now, the pub in question isn’t exactly salubrious, but neither is it horrible. I actually quite like it and the guy that owns it. He’s a decent fella. He by all accounts wasn’t, however, best pleased when he discovered that the novel got published (and sold heavily in our local indie book shop) with the pub’s real name in it. Safe to say, I didn’t show my face in there for quite some months and quickly changed the name in the book.

After that moment of idiocy, I pledged to never use real venue names in my book.