Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Terror Tales of the Scottish Highlands!

As anyone who's read any of my novels will know, I'm a writer who is very inspired by place; my first book, The Vanishing of Katharina Linden, was directly inspired by the town of Bad M√ľnstereifel, where I lived for seven years, and my current Forbidden Spaces trilogy was inspired by my experience of living in Flanders.

Since 2011 I've lived in Perthshire, so it's no surprise that my latest ideas are inspired by Scottish locations. People sometimes ask me whether it's nice to be "back" after living abroad for so long, but actually I'm not "back" at all - until 2011 I'd never lived in Scotland, although I'd visited many times. So when we moved here, pretty much everything was new to me. I decided to adopt my usual strategy of going to visit anything that I thought might be creepy, atmospheric or historical in the hopes that I would find some local inspiration. (NB I don't just do this to find story ideas; it's fun!) So I've visited castles and churches (ruined and not ruined), standing stones, abandoned railway tunnels, Innerpeffray Library, Shackleton's ship Discovery in Dundee (below), Mary King's Close in Edinburgh and many other interesting places. 

I'm pleased to say that these excursions have been every bit as inspirational as I hoped they would be! I've already completed a set of three ghost stories set in Innerpeffray Library, one of which you can hear in audio format on Soundcloud. I've also contributed a story to the upcoming anthology Terror Tales of the Scottish Highlands, edited by thriller writer Paul Finch and published by Gray Friar Press

If you've not already come across the Terror Tales series, they are anthologies of horror stories (uniquely?) set in different regions of Britain. There is a Terror Tales of Yorkshire, Terror Tales of Wales, Terror Tales of London and so on. So they are ideal for anyone who fancies a local thrill, whether horrors that might be lurking just up the road from you, or something spooky to fit a holiday destination! (And, of course, they're good for anyone who just likes being scared.)

I'm not going to say too much about my Highland story at this stage except that it is inspired by a real Perthshire location, one about which I have blogged before, and a genuinely creepy place.  

Terror Tales of the Scottish Highlands will be out in 2015; as soon as I have details of how to order it, I'll post them here! 

Above: "Where do you dig your ideas up?"

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