25th May 2014

I try to travel in May and October, before and after the summer school holidays. Once you start reading my series, you will see that they are often set at these two times of year. The weather is usually good and the scenery gorgeous, particularly when I am in the countryside. But increasingly this has become a problem as now many other people have the same idea, and I don’t like crowds. As a remedy for this, I always try to get somewhere early before the late risers.

I prefer the countryside to town. When not writing, I keep a pencil sketchbook as a travel diary. I particularly like old castles and stately homes set on large estates. In some ways it’s a pity that I set up my series to take place in cities, because, at first, I thought this limited me. Now I realize that I can use places like Tay Farm, home of Elspeth’s mother’s family, usually called “Biddy’s farm”, as a venue for further stories. I love Highland Perthshire in Scotland, from where my family hails, and am using that wonderful place in many if my forthcoming novels.