Wednesday, December 2, 2009

On the Road

The Road To Culloden is my first book, soon (I hope) to be ready for an agent. It's been a long process, with many rewrites, practically a different book from the one I began some years ago. It's less of a romance than it once was, though it's a love story. An avid researcher, I got so caught up in the whole 18th Century, that my one book is now being stretched to a trilogy. The first takes place in a very short period: 1744-1746. It begins with a marriage and ends shortly after the tragedy of the Battle of Culloden. I discovered The Lyon in Mourning, a collection of accounts, in three volumes, about the battle, the aftermath and the devastation that followed. It was published in the late 18th Century. Then I got interested in the spy systems on both sides.The Jacobite Spy Wars, Moles, Rogues and Treachery by Hugh Douglas is excellent. After reading Damn' Rebel Bitches by Maggie Craig I got new insight on women's role in the rebellion. In the past few years I've visited Scotland twice, absorbing the atmosphere, studying the landscape. On a rainy, blowing day on the road along Loch Laggan, I saw a small peninsula that exactly fitted the place where my imaginary castle, Castle Caorann would stand. In my book, just before the battle, the hero Niall rides his horse to a place that captured me, Clava Cairns, near Culloden Battlefield. Friends and I wandered on a foggy morning among standing stones and burial chambers, and I felt a sense of the past so strong that I knew it would have to be in my book.
Touching one of the engraved stones feels as if I am touching my past.

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