On Scotland

Drest (and Me) in Scotland: Part 2

One of our first visits in Edinburgh this year was to my favorite museum ever: the National Museum of Scotland. It’s an incredible place. What makes it especially close to my heart are the magnificent exhibits of Scottish history, starting from the forming of the earth, lochs, mountains, and hills (the Borders!!!!) to the modern… Read more »

Drest (and Me) in Scotland: Part 1

Scotland, and Edinburgh and the Borders in particular, are places very close to my heart. Early this summer, I made my third trip in my adult life. As usual, it was a part-research trip and part-family vacation. Because The Mad Wolf’s Daughter is in print, I took along a copy with the idea to pose it at… Read more »

Castle Scenes: Part 3

This is Part 3 and final installment of a series of posts about how I’ve been inspired by Scottish castles to create scenes in my novels. We visit Dirleton Castle in Dirleton, East Lothian for this one. Here I introduce Lord Faintree’s solar: The solar is where the lord, lady, or master of a castle lives. It’s… Read more »

Castle Scenes: Part 2

This is the second post in a series of how I’ve discovered crucial details within the castles of Scotland to inspire a scene in my fiction. Today’s post is about doors. This door is from Tantallon Castle near North Berwick. I like the solid wood of it (oak, I assume, as my castle’s door is),… Read more »

Castle Scenes: Part 1

The great medieval castles of Scotland have always inspired me and helped me create my fictional worlds. In this series, I’ll share pictures of castle bits that have directly led to specific scenes in my novels. For this post, let’s talk castle stairs. I always knew that castle stairs were narrow, and spiral, and designed… Read more »

Medieval Scottish Castles: Looking In

Medieval castles dominate Scotland’s landscape, and they’re practical structures for their times. Most start off as giant stone boxes with incredibly thick walls (sometimes square, sometimes rounded, depending on when they were built), copious trimmings to help with defense (say it with me: “crenelated battlements!”), and all sorts of openings with murderous purposes. Many also… Read more »

Starting With a Castle…

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed my love for—oh, let’s just be honest—enormous obsession with Scotland’s castles. These are the stone behemoths that dominate Scotland’s landscape (particularly in the Borders), looming above cities, countrysides, and seas. Kings, earls, and lords—Scottish and English alike—built these fortresses from the 11th to 16th centuries to… Read more »