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Highland Fling (2002)

Highland Fling

This was the first book I wrote that wasn’t set in Gloucestershire, apart from the canals of London that were the setting for my second book, The Rose Revived.   I was moved to try this different setting because of something I overheard one of our choir members saying to a fellow bass.  (Singer, not fish, just to be clear.)  He had been climbing in Scotland and instead of putting up a tent, one day they made a snow hole.  I asked him if he would tell me about them and he said he would but that I couldn’t set a love scene in one.  I said he wasn’t to worry about that, that was my job.

Although I had been to Scotland every year of my married life, even before I was married I wasn’t entirely confident about this setting.  I had always visited in summer or in winter, but I hadn’t been there when the heather was out, for example.  Although we continue to visit Scotland every year I still mostly miss the heather.  I had to set the book far further North than the Perthshire I knew well, and I had to calculate when there would be enough snow for a snow hole and working backwards had to work out when my story should start.

My heroine was a virtual assistant, something that is quite common nowadays but then was a very new concept.  I met on (virtually) and she actually assisted me by finding a mountain rescue team I could ask questions.

More recently I’ve set other books in Scotland and am fairly confident about it now as long as I don’t forget the midges.

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