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Images from Sites and Stories
  “The Isle of Man is becoming increasingly involved in aerospace technology and is fifth after China, the US, Russia and India in the race to return to the Moon. ” Sites and Stories page 90  
Titles are funny things
  image of a tower through archway  
  Some titles spring up ready made, but some are more elusive. We had terrible trouble with this one.  
  We wanted the title to reflect the two halves of the book. The idea is easy to understand, but surprisingly difficult to describe. Each chapter is devoted to a different Manx attraction, with the first half fiction and the second half fact. But we couldn’t find a title which summed up the idea.  
  Three alternatives have appeared on our website at different times. We started off with Thereby Hangs a Tale but soon got rid of that one; it raised more questions than it answered. Then we thought of Fact and Fantasy but ‘fantasy’ in fiction terms usually conjures up idea of wizards, werewolves or talking planets. One or two of the stories might fall into that category but by no means all of them. Eventually we plumped for Sites and Stories which at least has the benefit of being accurately descriptive.  
  Still, we’re not alone. Scott Fitzgerald toyed with a number of titles, including Under the Red, White and Blue before his famous book became The Great Gatsby. Joseph Heller’s Catch 22 started life as Catch 18. And T.S. Eliott seriously suggested The Waste Land, should use a quotation from Our Mutual Friend as its title. His famous poem wouldn’t have had nearly the same gravitas entitled He Do the Police in Different Voices.  
  Sites and Stories
Visitors to the Isle of Man are often surprised by how much there is to see. With two castles –
one is obviously a spare – the oldest parliament
in the world, a wildlife park, the world’s biggest working waterwheel, Britain’s first living museum, etc., the choice, if not quite endless, is at least
very varied.

But with its historical richness, the island, as befits its Celtic heritage, also has a wealth of folklore. Manannan, the old sea god, covers Mann in his cloak of mist to hide it from his enemies. St Trinian’s Church is still roofless after 300 years of being haunted by a grumpy buggane. The little people are still acknowledged by drivers over Fairy Bridge on the A5.

Images from Sites and Stories

We decided to celebrate two aspects of Manx culture in one book. Each of the twelve chapters covers a different attraction around the island. Some, such as Castle Rushen, the Douglas Corporation Horse Trams, Peel Castle and Cregneash are well known. Some such as
The Braaid, the Great Union Camera Obscura,
The Grove and the Milner Tower are perhaps
less familiar.

photos from Sites and stories

Facts and illustrations about the individual attractions sit alongside a short story set in each. The fiction is accurate as regards place although,
as it includes murder, haunting, and a visit from
a UFO, perhaps less accurate regarding events.
Or perhaps not…?

So, if you prefer fact or fiction or read a little of both, there is something here for everyone. We hope you like the result.
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