The locations of Glasdrum are close to my heart.
As a child, whenever there was a hint of sun during the summer (rare on the west coast of Scotland) we went to Camusdarroch beach near Morar. The sea was cold but we swam, and there were sand dunes to play on. I often imagined what it would be like to live in the cottage that was perched at the end of the beach with nothing but a rough track leading to it. This beach is a key location in the film Local Hero and in Glasdrum, a ramshackle version of the cottage at the end of the beach is where Vicky and Louise live.
I was brought up in Glen Nevis, outside Fort William, and with few other children to play with, I was often bored. Sometimes I cycled to the end of road up the glen and walked through the dangerous gorge on my own. The sign at the start always struck fear into my heart but I carried on regardless, my parents having no idea where I was. Those were the days! I used to imagine I was being chased by baddies and would creep through the undergrowth on the lower path, past precipices that over hung the thundering water that had carved smooth holes in the ancient rocks. Although the novel is located an hour’s drive away from Fort William, I have transplanted the gorge at the end of Glen Nevis to the outskirts of the fictitious Glasdrum. What fun to be a novelist and rearrange the world.
I’m not a hillwalker in the way hillwalkers would consider themselves to be hillwalkers, but I have always walked in the hills, if that makes sense. I was brought up at the foot of Ben Nevis, I played on its lower slopes, I walked to the summit with a friend in plimsolls when I was twelve, without giving it much thought, and I still roam the lower paths whenever I return home. I just don’t set out to climb to the tops of mountains; it’s exhausting! But the mountains on the west coast of Scotland are very familiar to me and they feature prominently in Glasdrum. They are dangerous places – there are deaths every year, usually due to the rapidly changing weather conditions, carelessness or recklessness. But sometimes, especially when the mist is particularly low, the deaths are because of serial killers.
For something different, I’ve written a ‘women in jeopardy’ thriller set in Tunisia. Love, death, culture clash, escape… http://amzn.to/2eCnZRf