Places

Castle Cairdrist

In my new YA fantasy novel Everdream, in the middle of the land of Tyernas, on a hill overlooking a wide river, stands its capital—the home of the king, Castle Cairdrist.  Aside from the odd rare trip with his father, Cairdrist is the only place Kynan has ever known. At first glance, Cairdrist looks much… Continue reading Castle Cairdrist

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Places

Dunvegan

Every hero has an origin, and it would be impossible to understand Ann MacLean without knowing where she came from. She was born on the shores of Loch Dunvegan, on the Isle of Skye in Scotland.  But at her core she was really a child of two worlds. Ann was born to a humble master… Continue reading Dunvegan

Places

The Kingdom of Tyernas

My upcoming YA Fantasy novel, Everdream, takes place in a magical realm where dreams are real.  But it has another important setting, too—a backdrop to the dangerous magic of Everdream.  The Kingdom of Tyernas.  Here's what I know about Tyernas so far. Tyernas is a fictional medieval kingdom.  It is ruled by a hereditary king—Kedrych,… Continue reading The Kingdom of Tyernas

Places

Glengarry, my Home

  This past weekend I made a pilgrimage.  It's become an annual thing for us—to travel to the land of my forefathers and soak in the extravaganza of Scottish heritage that is the Glengarry Highland Games.  But this year is a special year.  This year marks the 200th anniversary of a different kind of pilgrimage.… Continue reading Glengarry, my Home

Places

Where Dreams are Real

Everdream, my upcoming young adult fantasy novel, centres around a magical realm where dreams are real.  It's pure imagination, but it has its roots in a real life video game. My kids are obsessed with Minecraft.  They love the limitless possibilities, the raw creativity, the partnership, and even the danger.  Watching them play it, I… Continue reading Where Dreams are Real

Writing

5 Ways to Build an Epic World

  If you’re writing a novel, you need a setting. If you’re writing a fantasy novel, your setting needs to be an epic world. Whether you’re writing fantasy, historical fiction, or even something in your own backyard, you need to immerse the reader in that world without drowning them. There are a lot of novels… Continue reading 5 Ways to Build an Epic World

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Writer Wednesday: Immerse Yourself in Setting

Writing historical fiction has changed a lot over the past decade.  I know this because I wrote Daughters of Alba ten years ago with only the benefit of a handful of books from my local library.  Now that I'm writing Sons of Alba, I'm finding a plethora of information on the web that simply wasn't… Continue reading Writer Wednesday: Immerse Yourself in Setting