In Their Footsteps

Pitlochry, Scotland

In mid-September I spent a week up in Scotland—in the picturesque Highland village of Pitlochry. It was an appropriate place to finish off the first full editing session of Codename: Foxglove. Dominique (Foxglove), went there to visit her mentor, Rachel (Codename: Nightshade).

The Foxglove story will rest until mid-October, and from then it will undergo at least three further sessions with two-week breaks between. If it feels ready, I aim to send it out to beta readers in late November. When published, this tale will bring the Beyond The Law stories to a close, so, as might be expected, it will be done with a heavy heart, but by the same token, some series’ run their course. I’d like the final story to be a worthy conclusion to the tales which started life as a single experimental poem about a man who was compelled to end his military career.

Pitlochry saw several scenes from Codename: Nightshade which involved the Mental Riders Motor Cycle Club among others. Characters from both sides of the line came unstuck in a big way in the village. Locations like the filling station, a (renamed) bar on the main road, a large hotel, a car park, and the railway station all held a special significance for me. I travelled along the road which was used in a car and motorbike chase and felt justified in having used the route in the scenes.

While in Scotland, I visited Braemar which featured in Beyond the Law: Retribution. As the author of action scenes, death and mayhem, it creates a peculiar feeling to be on site and imagine what took place in my imaginary world.

Apart from those places I also spent a day at Aviemore and on several of the countryside routes in the area. Here, of course, I was reminded of the characters from my Light at The End trilogy, and in particular my heroine from the spinoff, Sylvia.

In visits to Glasgow, my home town, I’ve enjoyed the ‘sense of place’ when thinking back to the Beyond The Law trilogy, and in recent visits to Edinburgh I sensed the presence of Bryce, and several other characters from Czech Mate.

A knowledge of the locations used in stories complements the imagery and to a certain extent, the action. Returning to ‘real’ places after the job is done is a surreal experience and provides a healthy dose of satisfaction—I’d recommend it to fellow authors.

Thank you for indulging me with your time and comments.


8 thoughts on “In Their Footsteps

  1. I have just started reading the first of the Beyond the Law stories and I am engrossed. The ‘sense of place’ you talked about is definitely there, as it was with Czech Mate.

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    1. Thank you, Cathy, both for the comment and for trying another of my titles. Hopefully, you’ll be caught up with the idea of the team and the operations they go on. 🙂


    1. Theresa, until I’d done it the first time I had no idea that it would feel so special. It creates a feeling that there is a ‘portal’ and I’m only a step away from the characters and the worlds I’ve created. Having read your stuff, that would be scary for you. 😀


  2. Welcome back, Tom.

    A “spooky” holiday by the sound of it!

    I’ve used places I’ve visited in books, but going back… I never have, and I shall keep this post in mind if i get the opportunity.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sarah, I keep the spooky aspect at bay by promising myself that if certain characters approach me, I’ll threaten to kill them off. There are obviously exceptions. 😀


    1. Thank you, Patrick, and it’s nice to know that I’m getting it right. I think we’re on the same playing field when it comes to imagery and atmosphere. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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