... is the place where I began. In Nightingale Ward at the town hospital, to be precise. The town has changed a lot since then: a small Hampshire market town of 6,000 people, where the main employer was Strong's brewery, has grown to have a population nearer 30,000. But it's still dominated by the great Norman Abbey.
There's no point trying to explain here everything that Romsey has meant to me - I spent my first 18 years there, after all! But the small-town setting of some of my books (The Darkling, The Fetch of Mardy Watt) undoubtedly owes a debt to the place, and Lychfont House in Death of a Ghost is partly an amalgam of nearby Mottisfont and Netley Abbeys. The name Cooper's Bridge (from The Darkling) was adapted from the nearby town/suburb of Chandler's Ford, by the way.