This week the postman brought me some treats; a giant map of America and a lovely guide book of the Midwest. It’s a long time since I’ve been this excited about anything.
This year I’m working on a novel called Roundabouts which, though primarily based in Ballymena features two characters drawn together by their shared love of Bob Dylan’s music and life. I’m going to be using some of the funding from the ACES scheme to spend around 6 weeks in the US this summer, researching Bob Dylan’s early life. I’m hoping to visit New York, Minnesota, DC and various other Dylan-ish places. I’m in the process of compiling a list of places relevant to the man himself during his childhood and early career. My favourite so far is this “lovely” papier mache statue of Dylan in Hibbing, Minnesota. Very lifelike, I’m sure you’ll agree.
If you know of any place I should visit, any person I should talk to, any book I need to read, (and let me preface this by telling you all I read 43 books about Bob Dylan for my Masters dissertation and still barely scratched the surface of the enormous amount of material written about him), please, please give me a wee shout. Over the next few weeks I’m going be taking a big red pen to my map of America and plotting my route after which I’ll be looking for places to stay and people to drink beer and coffee with all the way round the Midwest. I’ll let you all know my schedule. Until then send your Dylan thoughts and suggestions this way and let’s all get thinking about the Bob mix tape to end all mix tapes for cruising down Highway 61. This is going to be the best summer ever.