My inspiration for Vurt comes more from the Punk era.
I’ve never been one joining movements, with the sole exception of Punk. So that era – 1976 to 1979 – was my only real engagement with the music scene of the city in any direct, plugged-in manner. I went to gigs every week no matter who was playing, I just went for the social scene.
Although, thinking back, even then I was the type to stand on the edge of circles, looking in. I think, and hope, that I write primarily for and about people who find themselves in similar situations.
So, although a lot of people said Vurt corresponded to their lives and their feelings about Manchester during the 1990s, for me, personally, the novel is more about the late 70s.
There was any energy in the city during that time that I felt coursing through my body, whenever I listened to the music, or even just walked down the street.
The clothing, the sounds, the way that people looked; it all held a ritualistic power.
Of course, I did pick up on some of the (very different) energy of the 1990s version of the city, for the novel, but not nearly as much as the punk era.
Manchester, in its various guises, fuelled most of my early novels and stories."