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Andrew's historical fantasy novel based on an ancient Welsh tale, 'The Fairy Wife' (working title) is accepted for publication!

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

In the Footsteps of Heroes

Anyone who knows me even slightly will know how much I love North Wales.  I was fortunate enough to live there for three years, and I still return for holidays whenever I can.

I also set a lot of my historical fiction among the region’s mountains and valleys, and woods and moors.  When I’m walking among rugged hills and deep lakes with a low, brooding sky I find it impossible not to think of the people living here in days gone by.

So what have these rambling thoughts got to do with writing?

Well, I find it really helpful to be able to know the places where my characters live their lives.  In fact, putting scenes in places I know is one of the joys of writing.  It also helps me picture some of the scenes.  For example, here is the River Glaslyn a little upstream from Beddgelert. 

Glaslyn

In ‘The Doe and The Dragon’, it was here that Prince Einion first set eyes on Breena, the Irish girl who took his heart.  I walked alongside this stretch of river only a couple of weeks ago, and Breena and Einion are so much a part of the place for me I could almost see their ghosts – particularly as the area is thick with myth and legend.

Image0052

I set a lot of the story in the magnificent Gwynant Valley (above); it isn’t difficult to imagine warrior princes leading warbands over this rugged country.

Mine

And one of the characters is enticed into an ancient copper mine by a spirit.  I based the scene at this (slightly more modern but still pretty old!) mine.

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