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Posts Tagged ‘Edinburgh’

Author Diana Gabaldon “I stood still, vision blurring, and in that moment, I heard my heart break. It was a small, clean sound, like the snapping of a flower’s stem.” – Diana Gabaldon, Dragonfly in Amber

Sigh. I wish I’d written this quote. I’m a fan of Diana Gabaldon’s books, and had the good fortune to be in Edinburgh in 2009 when she was speaking at The Gathering.

Many of the attendees at that event sprawled on the hillside listening to Celtic musical performers and wandered through the tents set up by the various Scottish Clans. I, too, heard many of the musical acts, visited the Irvine/Irwin tent, and even spotted Prince Charles walking about with his bodyguards.

But the highlight of The Gathering for me was listening to author Diana Gabaldon talk about her writing, books, and central characters: Claire Randall and Jamie Fraser.

After her talk, I was also able to meet her and have her autograph several of her books for me. The quickly-snapped photo shown here is of Diana. She, I assure you, is much lovelier in person.

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Bonshaw Tower & Estate

Several people have asked me of late  why I chose The Greener Forest as the title of my first book of fantasy short stories. The title actually comes from a trip I took to Scotland with my mom, 3 sisters, and a bus full of distant cousins in 2009. These cousins are all associated with the Scottish Clan Irwin Association — and yes, if you go back a few generations, one of my ancestors was the American Revolutionary War hero, General William Irvine.

Drum Castle

The trip included visits to numerous historical and cultural locations: Edinburgh, Isle of Iona, Culloden, Fort George, Aboyne Highland Games, Urquhart Castle along Loch Ness, Glencoe, Aberdeen City Hall, Stirling Castle, Wallace Monument…

One of the most unique things about this trip was a tour of Bonshaw Tower & Estate in the border area led by present laird, Christopher Irving, and a tea hosted by his lovely wife, Claire. The second very special part of the trip was a tour of Drum Castle & Gardens given by David Irvine, 26th Baron of Drum and Chief of the Name and Lady Carolyn.

Drum Castle Greener Trees

It was while visiting Drum Castle, that I wandered into the woods near the small stone Drum Chapel. This little bit of Irvine woods seemed greener and more steeped in myth & Faerie than almost anywhere else I’d ever been. I was quite certain that if no one else was about, a hobbit or elf or other shy Tolkien creature might pop his head around the side of a tree and motion for me to follow them into the even greener depths of the forest. Or I’d stroll between an arch of branches and find myself in Narnia chatting with a faun.

More Drum Castle trees

And that’s when I decided the book of fantasy stories I wanted to put together should be titled: The Greener Forest.

My stories are certainly not equal to those of JRR Tolkien or CS Lewis, but I nevertheless try to put a little of the same magic into them. Readers, if you like fantasy, I hope you’ll give The Greener Forest a look. Writers, if you have the good fortune to travel — keep your ears and eyes open. You never know when inspiration will be standing in front of you. 

 And writers, remember Cold Moon Press: http://coldmoonpress.com  is actively looking for new authors. What do they want? Buy my book and you’ll see!

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