These days my travels are confined to trips in my mind. I have heavy deadlines facing me. One Snowy Knight is due February 1st, and Yield to the Knight is due July 1st. These will be a continuation of my Dragons of Challon series I’m doing for Kensington Zebra Historicals. So I thought I would take you on a wee tour inside my books for my “travels”.
My newest novel (4th book, 2nd for Dorchester’s Love Spell - second book out in two months) was just released. It’s the second in the Sisters of Colford Hall series. You will have to wait until the third book to actually see Colford Hall, which I set in England. The first book, The Invasion of Falgannon Isle, takes place in Scotland. Since the books are Paranormal Contemporary Romances, with a dash of Fantasy, they are set largely in my imagination more than specific locales. The settings in each book are very real places, only when I started writing, I found they became places in my heart, spun from my childhood memories. Time changes most parts of the world. So I chose to work from memories, fashioning for fiction. This permitted me to world-build. When you world build you create your own rules.
Such as the setting of the Isle of Falgannon. It’s not a real isle. You won’t find it on maps. I needed to do certain things, such as create my own ferry for the isle. I wanted it to run on my own schedule, and I didn’t think the real ferry services would appreciate me having cars crashing into them! It was easier to conjure my own small ferry and control it as I needed for the story. For the isle, well, I mostly used parts of Lewis in the Hebrides. It’s a very beautiful island. (Though in my video, there are actually two shots of England. I needed steep hills to my island, where as the Hebrides often are very flat and not many trees. I “borrowed” a wee bit of the Sasunnach. I don’t think they minded!)
I mean, who couldn’t look at these beautiful images and not conjure an island owned by a woman, under an ancient curse, which sees the island’s 213 bachelors without wives? Wouldn’t a woman who owned this beauty fight to preserve it?
Thus was born B.A. Montgomerie and Des Mershan, and the small cursed Falgannon Isle.
Since I didn’t want to be a ‘one trick pony’, I moved the setting of the second book, Riding the Thunder across the Pond to another place of rugged beauty — Kentucky. Kentucky was settled very heavily by Scots. It’s still very common in Central Kentucky, around the Kentucky river region, to see names like Montgomery, Mackenzie, Grant, Macpherson, Macphee….I suppose they felt comfortable there for in places Kentucky evokes parts of Scotland. I guess why I love both places equally.
When I was growing up, I spent two weeks to a month in early summer on the Kentucky River, before going back to Britain after the school year, and when I came back in the autumn, I again stayed there. Nicholasville, Buena Vista, Lake Herrington, Wilmore, Danville, Camp Nelson…oh, they are still there. Some parts have changed a great deal in the passing years. Nicholasville used to be a very small town 20 miles from Lexington. Urban sprawl now sees the two towns nearly joined. However, in the 1960s, there was a lot of farm land between the two places. There were drive-ins, skate rinks — and a restaurant called The Windmill. The setting for my book did once exist. There was a real motel, drive-in, restaurant, swim-club, a horse farm, and a small skate rink. The Windmill in Riding the Thunder drew life from those seeds.
With splendour such as this, can you not see why I had to send one of my “sisters” to Kentucky to “ride the thunder”? You will see many of these images in my videos for both books.
Hope you enjoyed the “travels” through my memories and what fashioned my stories.