Beautiful NorthumberlandSorry for the recent air silence, folks!
Last week, I spent a very enjoyable few days visiting my family in Northumberland. My son was able to burn off some of his boundless energy chasing Bruno, the large, golden Labrador around his grandparents’ garden and I was able to snatch a few minutes here and there to work on ‘Sycamore Gap’. I’ve reached a stage in the story where there are quite a few threads to pull together and various different avenues the story could take, so I felt that it was worth spending some time thinking rather than typing! I set aside the laptop and took a drive out with the family to see some lovely old haunts round and about, including Cragside. This National Trust house and extensive grounds are quite spectacular, being the former home of Lord Armstrong, a major player in the Victorian era. It’s well worth a visit, if you ever find yourself in the area: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/cragside/One of the greatest pleasures I have found in writing the first and second books in the DCI Ryan series has been the opportunity to shine a light on some of the fabulous areas in and around Northumberland. It is a wonderfully beautiful county, steeped in history and community. I know that there is quite a trend in mystery genres towards gritty realism and it is fun to inject a bit of that into a story but, for me, I write what I enjoy to read. That is, stories with a bit of everything that you can fall into with a vivid backdrop. I’ve really loved hearing from readers who have enjoyed ‘Holy Island’ and hope that I won’t disappoint them with ‘Sycamore Gap’. I have in mind some ideas on locations for books to follow, but would also be glad to hear about any particularly lovely parts of the county that might make a good setting, so don’t be shy in using the contact tab at the top of this page! Have a great week! x