Don’t miss your last few chances to enter…
Readers often ask me where I get my ideas for the fantasy worlds I create. I usually start with myth or folk law, such as the legend of the Irish Tuatha De Danaan—the noble Irish fairies who are descended from Greek gods—who appear in The Magic Knot. But one of my main sources of inspiration is the wonderful countryside and historic places in the British Isles and Ireland. I had a memorable visit to Ireland to research the area of The Wicklow Mountains before I wrote The Magic Knot. And the sequel, The Phoenix Charm, is set amid the valleys of Wales.
My fantasy world is contemporary set, but I love visiting historic manor houses and castles for inspiration. I’ve just arrived home from two weeks in the borderlands of Scotland. One of the things I love about the Scottish castles is how many of them are still owned and lived in by members of the Aristocracy. (Unlike in England where most are owned by The National Trust.)
My husband and I visited and looked around two historic properties just south of Edinburgh that are both owned by Dukes. Floors Castle (http://www.roxburghe.net/floors_castle_grounds_and_gardens/) is owned by the Duke of Roxburghe. This is an amazing place that took my breath away the first time I saw it. He and his family still live in one wing of the castle. While Bowhill House (http://www.bowhill.org/), is the home of The Duke of Buccleuch. I was told that not so long ago it was possible to travel all the way from Edinburgh to London without leaving The Duke of Buccleuch’s lands!
I notice on the Bowhill house website they are currently running a writing contest, open to all nationalities, in connection with The Muster, a Clan gathering they are having on September 26th. Check out the link on the right hand side of their website. (http://www.bowhill.org/)
To find out more about Helen’s books and read excerpts, please visit www.helenscotttaylor.com
Helen is donating a copy of THE MAGIC KNOT to one lucky commenter. To be entered into the drawing, simply answer this question:
If you could visit one place in the world, where would you go and why?