Thursday 1 August 2013

The Weight of Souls Blog Tour: Setting the Scene with Bryony Pearce +++ Read an extract of the book!

The Weight of Souls by Bryony Pearce || Release date: August 1st 2013

Sixteen year old Taylor Oh is cursed: if she is touched by the ghost of a murder victim then they pass a mark beneath her skin. She has three weeks to find their murderer and pass the mark to them – letting justice take place and sending them into the Darkness. And if she doesn’t make it in time? The Darkness will come for her…

She spends her life trying to avoid ghosts, make it through school where she’s bullied by popular Justin and his cronies, keep her one remaining friend, and persuade her father that this is real and that she’s not going crazy.

But then Justin is murdered and everything gets a whole lot worse. Justin doesn’t know who killed him, so there’s no obvious person for Taylor to go after. The clues she has lead her to the V Club, a vicious secret society at her school where no one is allowed to leave… and where Justin was dared to do the stunt which led to his death.

Can she find out who was responsible for his murder before the Darkness comes for her? Can she put aside her hatred for her former bully to truly help him?

And what happens if she starts to fall for him?


Setting the scene in The Weight of Souls, by Bryony Pearce

99% of The Weight of Souls is set in present day London (England).  The back-story is located in Egypt two hundred years ago and I like the clash of scenery, culture (and weather) that this represents.

Taylor’s tale is dark and urban and has scenes in some of the less salubrious part of London, yet it primarily takes place in some of the better areas (Kensington, Brooke Green etc.), I like the contrast of ‘well-off London’ with the darkness that takes place.

A lot of the book is about contrast: darkness and light, modern and ancient, living and dead.  One of the main reasons for setting the novel in London, however, is that I used to live there.

I believe in the adage ‘write what you know’.  I think that writing about a place you know well adds to the realism of your novel.  You can input small touches of detail that make the whole book ring true and really transport the reader to the location. This then makes the supernatural elements (that I inevitably include) even more creepy. 

I lived in London for almost six years, around ten years ago.  A lot has changed.  I was concerned that I not write about a place that no longer existed (the London of my memory), so while I was writing The Weight of Souls, I had to do a few visits, just to make sure that I was still being accurate.

Me When I Lived in London || Me Today

Taylor lives near where I did, in Shepherds Bush.  Since I lived there a multi-screen cinema and the famous Westfield shopping centre have been built.  The area is a lot more ‘up and coming’ than it used to be.  (In fact we saw our old one-bed, gardenless flat on the market – we had sold for £155k, it was on the market for £350k).  Taylor’s house is about a ten minute walk from where I lived, in a nicer area still, and while we had a flat, she has a whole house (her family have old money as a result of the curse).

Our old flat in Shepherds Bush (large raised ground floor window with small balcony in the middle of the shot).

Justin lives in one of the extremely nice houses just off Brooke Green.

The pub in Brooke Green where we used to go for Bloody Marys every Sunday, Justin lives just round the corner.

Tamsin lives in one of the very nice portered apartments in Kensington.

When we meet Taylor she is in Streatham, avenging the death of a lawyer, murdered by a gang of hoodies. 

She takes a lot of Routemaster buses (double decker with open back) as she travels round London.  The Oyster card is a new element (something we didn’t have when we lived there). 

Taylor visits the Science Museum, so I did too…


Here is the plane that is mentioned in the book, and here is Stephenson’s locomotive, where she finally finds the dead Justin.

Taylor has an awful experience in Angel Tube station, which has the longest escalator on the system.  It had been lightened up since my day and was a lot less unsettling and intimidating; still it was a little nerve wracking to traverse. 

I visited the Pizza Express near the tube station and checked the locations of Slug and Lettuce pubs throughout London for a later scene (I originally had my characters using an All Bar One, but discovered that they have introduced an age limit since I was last there, so had to make a change).

The scaffolding scene is the only bit that is set in a completely undisclosed location, but I used an amalgamation of real scaffolding I saw around the city.

So there it is, The Weight of Souls is not only an exciting novel involving an ancient Egyptian god, an ten-thousand strong army of zombified killers and a touching love story, but it is a journey around my old haunts in London (Shepherds Bush, Hammersmith, Brooke Green, Notting Hill, Olympia, Kensington Holland Park). 
I hope you enjoyed revisting them with me.

I can be found on Twitter as @BryonyPearce, my Facebook Author Page is BryonyPearceAuthor and you can email me on  If you’d like to know more about me, or my work, you can find all you could possibly want to know on my website: including A Very BIG Competition where you can win a signed copy of The Weight of Souls and much more!


  1. I was wondering about this one, sounds great, loved Bryony's post! Nice to have a little tour through London :)

  2. Absolutely loved this! I wasn't sure if The Weight of Souls would be my kind of thing but now I'm certain I'll enjoy it. The setting is so vibrant. It almost reminds me of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere - familiar and slightly terrifying at the same time...


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