The two books that I’m in the process of writing are set on the fictitious Scottish Isle of Rathnarr. First off, I’d like to give true credit to all writers up there that make up fictitious names of places. It was hard! I had a moment where I thought I’d come up with the most amazing name – the Isle of Torbay. Then – wish I hadn’t – I did a little Google search. Turns out the author Alistair MacLean also came up with this imaginary name, basing his island off of the Isle of Mull.
Ah well, wasn’t to be. Anyways, Rothnarr…
Rathnarr is set on the West coast of Scotland. It’s an island not too far from the mainland, maybe an hour on the ferry. Like many of the Scottish isles, people visit it for the ‘Scotland in Miniature’ elements to it. It has rolling hills, rocky shorelines, hidden beaches and jagged ridges. The locals are everything from young families to grannies zipping down hills in their scooters as though they’re Formula One drivers. People visit for many reasons. They want escape, refuge, walking holidays, golfing holidays or the British version of “what happens on Rathnarr stays on Rathnarr.”
But the island doesn’t just attract tourists. No, it attracts travellers. People often think that tourists = travellers, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Travellers are those who don’t just tick off the sights to see, but they spend an extended period of time in a place. They might even work there. In the case of my novels, travellers from around the world come to work at the hotel on Rathnarr. Their diverse life experience, their love lives and the dramas of their guests have all helped the create the story lines that I love writing.