It's release day for Highland Blood, Book 2 in The Celtic Blood Series. I thought I might share a few fun tidbits about the making of this novel. Pretty much anything I write about the content of the novel itself is a spoiler, so if you are a fan of the series, I won't ruin it for you. But how about some inspirations?
One of my favorite things about writing The Celtic Blood Series is that it gives me an excuse to listen to Celtic music. This was the primary soundtrack to this novel. Highland Blood is one of the more haunting novels I have ever written. If you've read Chasing the Green Fairy, I would say this book is on par with that in terms of tone. This music set the stage perfectly for the book.
Much of Highland Blood takes place in Madelaine's keep, Epona's coven, or at Cawdor Castle. Researching Cawdor was a fun little rabbit hole to slip down. Cawdor Castle "dates from the late 14 century, having been built as a private fortress by the Thanes of Cawdor, with the ancient medieval tower built around the legendary holly tree." Dated to the 14th century, it's a few hundred years too late for our story. A little digging has suggested that Cawdor, which featured prominently in Shakespeare's Macbeth, has long held a fortress. I took some creative liberties with history, following in Shakespeare's footsteps, and envisioned a castle in Cawdor earlier that the 12th or 14th centuries. Regardless, images of the Cawdor Castle did inspire much of my depictions in the novel:
You can find more about Cawdor Castle here: http://www.cawdorcastle.com/Home.aspx
While The Celtic Blood series retells Shakespeare's Macbeth through the eyes of Gruoch, the historical Lady Macbeth, the novel is not a straight historical. There is magic, dark goddesses, the fey, necromancy, and lots of old Celtic beliefs running around in the novel. In this novel, I touch on a few mythologies:
Talisen from Arthurian Literature
Scáthach, the legendary shieldmaiden from the Isle of Skye
Cartimandua, ancient Queen of the Brigantes
Boudica, Queen of the Iceni
The Wyrd Sisters
...and many others. Much of Shakespeare's works were inspired by Roman myth. Mine are inspired by Celtic mythology. I'd love to write novels on just about all these figures, Boudica in particular, if only I had time!
This series is a labor of love. Gruoch's story is a difficult one to write. At times, I feel like she's directing the story far more than I am. But that's okay with me. I hope you enjoy the next novel in this series.