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Nicole North | Why Scotland?

September 21, 2010

Nicole North1603100091It isn’t only about men in kilts, although those are sexy.

I’m sure a lot of people wonder why I set most of my stories in Scotland, or why I go gaga over getting to visit Scotland (which I will be doing in a couple of weeks!) Most people will tell you it’s a cold, windy and rainy place. That the skies are cloudy most of the time. That you will need your winter clothing, even in June. True, true. But Scotland doesn’t hold the same kind of appeal that a tropical island does. Scotland holds a unique and spellbinding appeal all its own.
For me, Scotland is a magical place, a place that seems almost surreal. A place out of fantasies and fairy tales where you might stumble upon a medieval castle at any moment, or glance out the bedroom window at the inn and see an ancient castle ruin in the distance. That doesn’t happen too often here in the US.

Scotland has a distinctive and sometimes harsh environment, especially the beautiful, remote and wild Highlands of the north. The people who lived there centuries ago had to be incredibly tough and resilient to survive, as do the current residents. And we do love those strong, unyielding heroes and heroines in romance novels, don’t we? Scotland is the perfect place for them to prove their mettle. When we think of Scotland we often think of William Wallace and how fiercely independent he and the men who fought beside him were. They valued freedom above almost anything else, as most of us do here in the US.
With its rugged and breathtaking landscapes, the white mist floating over the moors and lurking about the craggy mountaintops, Scotland sets my imagination on fire. Anything could happen there, and usually did in legends and myths. There are fairies, witches, shape-shifting selkies, kelpies and other supernatural creatures. Magic was a normal part of everyday life, wasn’t it? Perhaps. At least in my stories, this is the case.

In my latest release, Beast in a Kilt in <Secrets Volume 29 Indulge Your Fantasies, the hero, Torr, is a kelpie water demon shape-shifter straight out of legend. He was the unfortunate victim of a dark witch who cursed him into this changing form. The only limit in writing this story, and the other two in my Kilted Shape-shifter series (Devil in a Kilt and Scoundrel in a Kilt), is my own imagination. Naturally, I had to research legends, magic and witchcraft in Scotland, Scottish history and customs, etc. But for the characters and what they can do, I let my muse roam free over the Highlands and Islands.’

What is your favorite setting to read or write about (or to visit) and why do you love it so much?

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