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From a very young age, I have always been fascinated by castles and stately homes. The architecture, the decoration and design have always sparked an excitement within me. Even now I love to imagine what it would be like to roam around the halls of these historically rich places freely and experience the grandeur for myself.

Over the years I’ve visited many such locations and they have all inspired me and planted seeds of story ideas in my brain, and I suppose I was waiting for the right time to write them all down.

A few years ago, I worked at Paxton House in the Scottish Borders as a tour guide. It’s a stunning Palladian structure designed by the Adam brothers, highly regarded architects of their time. I had the honour of showing people the stunning building and the collections therein. I always imagined the ghosts of former occupants sitting in the rooms in their flowing frocks and listening as I retold their stories. It was such a special place to work and definitely inspired my writing.

Living in Scotland I’m lucky enough to have many castles and palatial houses to draw inspiration from and any time we travel around this stunning country we make a point of visiting as many as possible. So, it was only a matter of time before I set one of my books at such a place. And while Drumblair and its clan connections are fictional I have drawn inspiration from lots of different locations that have merged into one to create my very own castle. I liked the idea of the juxtaposition of a very historical setting intertwined with the contemporary lives of its occupants and that’s why my present-day series uses the castle as a backdrop. You get the best of both worlds; a modern-day story but also a hint of the history surrounding it.

I doubt that I will ever have the opportunity to inhabit one of these wonderful pieces of Scottish history so using my imagination to create one for my readers was the next best thing.

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