David Nicholls warns readers against trying to visit novel’s locations | David Nicholls

Celebrated author David Nicholls cautions his enthusiasts to resist the temptation of seeking out the settings depicted in his latest literary work. While fans have succeeded in exploring sites associated with the popular Netflix series adaptation of his previous work, One Day, such as Bella Roma in Lewisham and Charlton Lido, Nicholls clarifies that the places in his recent creation, You Are Here, are purely the product of imagination,” he disclosed.

Recently released, You Are Here unfolds the journey of a couple navigating through midlife adventure amidst the Lake District’s landscapes. A caution by Nicholls is included, confirming that “while the natural scenery is brought to life as faithfully as possible, any inns, dining establishments, and hospitality venues along their path are simply figments of my imagination,” coupled with the confession of slightly altering the trajectory depicted.

Addressing attendees at the Hay festival in Powys, Nicholls mentioned on their expedition’s inaugural night, his characters retire to a tavern “beside a lake that is in reality nonexistent.”

Lovers of the Netflix show based on Nicholls’ One Day have tracked down its London backdrops. Photograph: Teddy Cavendish/AP

“Don’t even try to make a reservation, because the place simply is not there,” he cautioned. “They may draw from real-life inspirations, but the settings in the story are not to be found on any map.”

Known for his romantic narratives like One Day and Starter For Ten, Nicholls acknowledges a shift in his writing perspective. It is now difficult to only focus on themes of younger individuals and their romantic pursuits as “it’s odd because that used to be the core of my writing when I launched my career.”

Having been in a long-term relationship with his partner and script editor, Hannah Weaver, for over two decades, Nicholls remarks that modern dating – especially via apps – is a realm far-removed from his own experiences dating before 1997. “It’s a stark contrast to the less predictable way relationships used to start. It was customary to attend numerous dinner gatherings in the off-chance of being seated next to a potential mate. It was unlikely and had a certain serendipity, but today’s methods are more straightforward – there are tools to ease the process,” he reflected.

Given his detachment from today’s dating culture, Nicholls feels it may be a subject beyond his purview. “Given the array of talented young authors who capture the essence of modern dating, they are the voices that resonate well in that discourse,” he expressed.

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