Tag Archives: Scotland

Craigmillar Castle – Murder Plots & Witchcraft!

Welcome to Realm Tramper, a mini-reboot of my author blog. Here I’ll continue to post status updates about my books, and interviews and tidbits on writing and writers. But I’m also going to post some insights into the places and characters that inspired elements of my writing, from my travels in Scotland and farther afield.

I’m starting with a castle featured in THE LAIRD OF DUNCAIRN, Craigmillar Castle. This isn’t a play on my name but a real fortress in Edinburgh (and a really cool one at that!) Located on the outskirts of the city, it’s where royalty took refuge from plagues, nobility plotted murders, and the brother of one king was imprisoned for the practice of witchcraft.

I first explored the stone tower house and ranges of Craigmillar Castle as a college student, and the memory of it stuck with me–from the beautiful fields surrounding the “High Bare Rock”–a translation of Craigmillar–to the turreted towers and imposing keep. One of the coolest things about Craigmillar is the lack of crowds. As opposed to Edinburgh Castle, which has queues within queues spawned by other crowded queues, visitors of Craigmillar can roam the tower and walls as if they owned the place! (Note the complete lack of other visitors in my pictures.) And if that isn’t great enough, if one is inclined, they can walk the 4 miles between the two castles via some great parks and quaint suburbs, and really get a feel for the modern city.

When I needed a clandestine prison for the Fey Finders to hold Effie, I knew Craigmillar was the perfect place. With its history as a prison and place of nefarious plots, where better to have Effie confront the dastardly Edmund Glover?

Here’s a timeline of some notable events at the castle, along with a drawing of the castle’s layout:

 

 

A view of Edinburgh Castle from Craigmillar’s towers:

 

 

 

 

The ‘service of an archer’, an interior passageway, and the outer courtyard:

Have you ever been to Craigmillar? What did you think? Are there any other great places that stand out from your own travels? Let me know!

Advertisements

The Laird of Duncairn – Cover Reveal!

I am happy to reveal the cover of my forthcoming novel, THE LAIRD OF DUNCAIRN! (available in print May 2nd and eBook May 16th)

 

Here’s a bit about its origins, from an interview on the City Owl Press website:

THE LAIRD OF DUNCAIRN is set in Scotland, where I lived and studied history at University for a year. Having a chance to roam throughout the Highlands and live in an old, storied city such as Edinburgh was truly amazing. With its breathtaking glens and lochs, it’s easy to see why the country is often used for romantic settings.

But I didn’t set out to write a novel set in Scotland. I started with a character, a young orphaned girl who suffered at the hands of politicians hundreds of miles away. That situation reminded me of Scotland’s history with London, and the tale grew from there. The girl became half fey, part of a dying race oppressed by centuries of scathing propaganda.

Added in were creatures out of folklore, real-life historical figures, and, of course, crank-guns and dirigibles. Adventure and mystery sweep across the countryside in THE LAIRD OF DUNCAIRN, as auld creatures awaken and new discoveries are made that will rock civilization to its core.

Thanks to everyone involved! More exciting stuff to come!

Aelfie of Glen Coe by Craig Comer

Published in 2011, “Aelfie of Glen Coe,” follows the trials of an orphan girl roaming the Highlands of 1870’s Scotland. Hunted by the queen’s minions, and those who blame her kind for the woes of the Empire, she must tread carefully or find herself at the end of a rope…

Stories in the Ether vol. 2 is available on Amazon.

SitE_Issue2_Cover