First, buy yourself some good boots, invest in a walking pole and some Thousand Mile socks, and set off along the West Highland Way with a good friend and a bottle of whisky … Am just back from Fort William, via Edinburgh, and suitably inspired by the spectacular scenery.The weather could have been better at the beginning – but it could have been a lot worse too – but the last three days were glorious and in the sunshine it was hard to believe that there was anywhere more beautiful than the Highlands.
Funnily enough (or not) my next book is going to be set in the Highlands, and we thrashed out the plot along the 95 miles, in between ooh-ing and aaahing at the view, or grumbling about our feet at the end of the day – that last mile was always a tough one, especially when you’ve already walked 19 and it’s getting dark and you’re heading across a gloomy moor and suddenly are remembering that first scene in An American Werewolf in London …
It was a big relief to come home and discover that the hastily revised royal romcom has gone through, so it’s straight on to work on this next book, which features Lotty, a princess desperate to have a taste of ordinary life (hey, nobody said I had to be original).Lotty was a secondary character in the last book, appearing only in the occasional email, so part of her story is already established.That’s partly a good thing, as it gives you something to work from, but it’s also restrictive, as I can’t now change the story completely.Still, I think I’ve got enough to start writing a synopsis, complete with questions to myself about motivation and character goals which will have to be answered along the way.
It's always hard to get back to work after being away, especially when it was so wild and different and home seems very .... flat. But I have been working my way through my inbox, and this is almost my last job before I square up to the blank screen. Lotty will be heading for the Highlands very shortly, and at least I have lots of memories (and photos) to keep me inspired.