Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Research: Discovering Scotland

I've written two books in my Scottish Football Romance series, enjoying them immensely.  Scotland is a wonderful country, filled with amazing culture and beautiful sites.  It's part of the United Kingdom, or U.K.

In my first book of the series, 'The Lingerie Castle,' the main love interest (Camden Monroe) takes the main character (Alexis Carlson) on a 'romp' around Scotland.  For that part, I did intensive research on the country, to see where they could go.

Here's a map from Google Maps to show where I had my characters go on their journey:



Since it's not a large country, they could see most of it in about a day or so.  They went from Glasgow up to Fort William, closer to the western coast.  That's the home of Ben Nevis, the tallest point in Great Britain.  Here are some pictures of Fort William, on Google:  Fort William pictures.  It's a gorgeous area.  My characters thought so, too.

After that, they had to travel to Loch Ness, home of Nessie, and see Urquhart Castle, which is on the banks of the lake.  After that, they traveled to Inverness and then on to Aberdeen, on the eastern coast.

The pictures I saw while writing this were incredible.  I can't imagine living in such a beautiful country.  The second book, 'Kissin' in a Kilt,' takes place near a town called Airdrie.  Here's a map from Google Maps:



I made up a fictitious area for the love interest (Graham McGregor).  He's also a famous Scottish football player.  They travel around the area to go to a wedding, visit upper end shopping venues, and meet with local people.

What impressed me the most about my research, aside from the gorgeous sites, were the people.  They're genuine, with hearts of gold.  I know that from not only my research, but from family members who have traveled there.  My parents took the QE2 across the Atlantic Ocean to Scotland, to see it firsthand.  This would've been back in the 90s, before my father died.  They told me stories about how the locals believed in fairies and fantasy.  One bus driver didn't want to cross a road because the fairies put rocks in the way every night.  Every day, the rocks would be moved by locals, and every morning, they'd be back again.

My sister also did her PhD dissertation on the culture of Scotland.  She studied kinship behavior, and stayed in Pittenweem, a tiny fishing village near Aberdeen.  This would've been in the late 1970s/early 1980s.  She stayed for at least a month (if I remember correctly) and brought back amazing research along with tapes of children reciting different things they learned.  

From what I learned, the people in Scotland tell it like it is.  For example, while my sister was in Pittenweem, a man walked into the ocean and drowned.  He was drunk.  The locals had no sympathy, because it was his fault for drinking and walking into the water.  If that were the U.S., they'd be a lot more upset.  But the locals across the pond called the guy an idiot.  They were right, too, in my opinion.

Anyway, some day, I'd love to visit Scotland.  The culture, the sites, and yes, even the food, would be an amazing adventure to me.  The people are fantastic, just from what I've studied.  Ah, some day.

Have a great day!
SweetTale Books

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