Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Travel Tuesday: Some Tangier Locations From My Novel

"An old man in a brown djellaba hobbled up the hill, his face obscured under the pointed peak of his hood. Tom could tell the man was old only by the way he moved—stiff and slow, yet sure, one foot after another as he ascended the smooth, steep slope of bare stone, rising up over the lip and silhouetted by the water like some pagan sea god. "

When I was writing my novel, The Last Hotel Room, I spent a few months living in Tangier to get the setting and details right. The novel centers around Tom, a broke American who has lost everything and is stuck in Morocco while the last of his money runs out. He's decided to kill himself at that point, but soon finds himself a precarious income helping a crooked cop extort money from tourists. He used much of this money to support Asif, a Syrian refugee boy who's living alone in Tangier.

My publisher, Kindle Press, has put the ebook edition on sale for 99 cents on the Amazon store through April 3. To celebrate, I thought it would be fun to share some of my photos of Tangier along with associate quotes from the text. They're in chronological order. Enjoy!

"On the days he didn’t have tea with Mohammed, he would round the corner to the Petit Socco and sit at one of the caf├ęs, either the Central, with its wicker chairs and awning, or the Tingis, with its little patio on the high end of the Socco, looking down across the plaza’s length."
"The muezzin’s call lilted over the medina, to be picked up by another muezzin in a mosque further away. The alleys echoed and reechoed with their mingled songs as half a dozen mosques near and far sang out the same song a few words apart from one another."
"The tower was square and made of flat bricks faced with a thick coating of plaster, most of which had flaked away. It would take some time to get the details right in his drawing; it was a bit like the tile work on the mosque but with no regular pattern. The general shape looked easy enough: square with saw-toothed battlements on top. The whole thing listed a little over the cliff. Five centuries of Atlantic rain and wind had gnawed away at the cliff until it reached the base of the tower and then taken a big bite out of the tower’s base. As he watched, a couple of teenage boys popped out of its open front (the wall having tumbled down the precipice long ago), edged around the top of the cliff, and sauntered past him."

"Straight ahead the slope plunged steeply down, allowing them an open, sweeping view of the Strait of Gibraltar glittering in the sunset. Asif stepped out to the edge of the slope, looked over his shoulder at Tom with a smile, and then stared out over the water. Tom stepped up beside him and stared too, resting a hand on his shoulder."
“That is the boat from Tarifa, in Spain,” Asif said quietly, pointing at the catamaran. “So easy for them.”
“Spain looks close,” Tom said.
“Fourteen kilometers. Can you get me on the ferry, Tom?”
“You don’t have a visa. They’d never let you on board and they won’t listen to me. There’s nothing I can do. I’m sorry.”
Asif looked disappointed but not surprised.
“I afraid to go the other way,” he whispered, then turned and headed back through the gate. Tom followed, feeling helpless.

1 comment:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

He went to a beautiful place to die.
That first shot looks like a Jawa at the beach.

Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Civil War Horror blog, where he focuses on Civil War and Wild West history.

You can also find him on his Twitter feed and Facebook page.