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.


An Ongoing Task

My graphic is of the Forth Road Bridge which amongst other things is famous because when the team of painters complete the job from one side to the other, they start all over again.  I’m quite proud of this photo because I took it whilst on holiday and I found that there aren’t that many vantage points to capture this view.  This is looking north across the River Forth, northwest of EdinburghForth Road Bridge, Scotland

Chapters 1 and 2 of my HAWK story have been completed and in the hands of the competition judges for a couple of weeks now and within 48 hours of sending my efforts away I was working on the revised Chapter 3.  The first draft of Chapter 3 is now completed and I’m on my way with some notes for Chapter 4.  I enjoyed the experience of producing the HAWK series in poetry because it was written very much one step at a time without much planning.  I then went on to tackle the NaNoWriMo Challenge in November 2011 using the same character and a fresh story idea.  For the NaNo it was fun tackling the task and seeing the renewed story take shape but this new version is a different sort of thing again.

Since the rewrite of the early chapters I’ve now got my novelist’s head on and even before the present chapter is completed I’m thinking of and making notes for future chapters.  I’ve finally discovered something that other people have talked about in the past, whereby the story, or the characters seem to help the writer.  I find myself trying to argue why a character would or wouldn’t say or do a certain thing.  What I have accepted is that as I complete one chapter I’ll be straight on with writing the next.  My books on gangs, criminal investigation and police organisation will now come into their own.

Today I downloaded ‘The Girl Who Played With Fire’ by Stieg Larsson onto my Kindle 3G, but when I’ll be making time to read it I don’t know.  One of my aims for today was to check out other blogs, and there may not be many I read but I do owe it to the people concerned.

I haven’t written much poetry recently and today I had the urge so I put a verse together titled, ‘All I Want To Do ….’, which surprise, surprise is about writing.  No change there then.