While I have zero talent when it comes to drawing anything, I do like to picture scenes or locations from my books. When it came to Hometown, I had images in mind before I'd written a word. I've always had a thing for normal, known places turned a little...odd. Unused traintracks for example. I was on a train a few years ago, pulling into a station and noticed a bunch of old tracks covered in weeds, all rusting and half-obscured by the undergrowth. Once upon a time, they would have been used, of course, but at that point, they were just metal lines left in the ground. I quite liked that. If there'd been some global pandemic or war, the tracks would have looked much as they did on that day.
Now, expand that image to a street or a city centre or the entire city. Or a country. Everything still more or less in one piece but covered in weeds, windows broken, doors boarded up and damage from smoke or water leaks marking brickwork.
I quite like that, too.
With that in mind, coming up with descriptions for the other side (the underside if you like) of the town in my book was easy. All I had to do was think about those old traintracks and bear in mind the look of a couple of films: Silent Hill and Escape From New York - one of which gets a cheeky mention in Hometown.