Guess who just got her 23andMe DNA test back and it said 53.7% Irish?
So I thought it would be an awesome day to chat about why I’ve chosen the British Isles (Great Britain, Ireland, Scotland) as the permanent inspiration and location for my next series of books. Aka – Storytime with Emma. So let’s get into this!
I have been obsessed with fairytales ever since I was a little girl. The Grimm brothers were geniuses and no one can convince me otherwise. When I was a kid, I read a lot of stories that were inspired by Scotland and Ireland. Outlander was the first “romance” novel I ever read (I had to go back later and reread it cause my sixteen year old self really didn’t understand that book), and that sent me in a spiral of reading books with rolling green hills dotted with sheep, and men wearing kilts.
It stuck with me! As many of our first romance novels do. Maine is fairly similar to Scotland, a lot of rocky coasts and green hills. But we did not suffer any deforestation and we don’t have as many sheep, so much of the dramatic scenery is covered with trees and tall grass. Which is not the case with a lot of Scotland’s most stunning views.
With this stuck in my head, I resolved when I graduated college I was going on my dream trip. I saved my pennies for 3 years (I graduated college early), and then it was happening. Plane, layover, plane, and boom. I stepped off into Scotland.
There’s a few things about Scotland that really stuck with me. 1. It rains a lot, although we got really lucky and ended up not having a ton of rain during this trip. 2. Everyone is really friendly and are more than happy to talk. 3. The midges are terrible in some areas. 4. The sheep are not friendly.
Not surprisingly (animal lover here), the sheep thing really bothered me. I know they’re mostly for food, since lamb is a really big deal and also super delicious, but I hate it when animals don’t want to talk to me. I would have loved scratching a sheepie chin.
The thing about Scotland is that it’s so green. Whenever we went on a hike, I was convinced I’d walk into a screen somewhere. It wasn’t possible for things to be so vivid that they hurt my eyes. It wasn’t possible to have such a quaint countryside that just looks so… perfect.
So why Scotland? Why the British Isles?
It’s the strangest thing I’ve ever felt while I was here. I don’t know how to fully explain it other than to say it felt like my soul was home. There was something that just… clicked. It wasn’t one of those tear jerking moments, although I had a lot of them especially up in the Isle of Skye, but some part of me just eased.
Something relaxed that I didn’t know I needed to have relax. And maybe some of that was being on vacation in a new country that is known for being beautiful. But I’m not so sure about that. From the haunting history of Edinburgh, to Loch Ness, to the Old Man of Storr, Scotland captured some piece of my heart.
I remember coming back home and going through almost a bit of depression. I love my home, Maine is really beautiful. And yet I still found myself remembering Scotland, the people, the scenery, the beauty, and I’d get a little sad.
I think everyone has a home on this planet that their soul calls out to. Scotland is mine.
- EMMA RELEASE BLACK BLOOD ALREADY – yes I knooowwww. I’m getting there cool your jets. BB is in the hands of prereaders, and though there might be a few little tweaks to make, August 8th is the hard release date.
- I was on vacation this week which means, you guessed it, I got a TON of writing completed on Heart of the Fae. I mean like 20,000 words completed. We’re now firmly seated at 62,000 words with Chapter 8 (The Storm) very nearly complete!
- Street Team has been created! If you’re interested in joining, watching the marketing adventures, helping out getting the words to the masses, join our awesome little family!