Your novel Awakenings, the first in a series, is set in Scotland, where you grew up. What is it about this setting that you most wished to convey to readers?
Scotland is a captivatingly beautiful place, with inspiration around every corner. It would be difficult as a writer or artist not to have your creativity piqued.Hidden around every nook, cranny and bend there is some ancient ruin or old castle just waiting to be explored. It’s also a country steeped in folklore, mystery and the supernatural, all of which I could use to draw readers in.
The loss of history is certainly one element I can see working in your novel, and your father's storytelling is another. What do you hope to do to readers with your own storytelling? Who do you envision your readers to be, and what do you hope they come away with when the book (series) is finished?
There will definitely be three books, possibly four, depending on how much my wonderful editor excises from the third book J The mystery certainly deepens; it isn’t as simple as it appears in Book One. There are new creatures introduced, including the comical wood nebs and the more threatening ater, who are mentioned at the very end of Book One and become a real menace to the lives of those in Ormiscaig.
I personally enjoy reading books where the main character doesn’t seem wimpy, vulnerable, or frankly pathetic. So, I intentionally created a strong heroine in Arran, who gains a greater depth of understanding regarding who she is and of her role in both worlds. Arran has a clear sense of self, and never loses sight of her background, which also keeps her both teachable and grounded. I’ve always felt in writing this story that young readers need a heroine they can identify with, that also has traits that their parents wouldn’t mind them trying to emulate.
I’ve also tried to take the reader to different parts of Scotland, as well as integrate more folklore and history. We get to see these scenes largely through the kings, some of whom have the ability to move through time. Finally, readers of Book One were introduced to a potential villain. For those of you who crave a good, complex villain, you will not be disappointed with the next two parts.