Hazel McHaffie

Location, location, location

It’s difficult to share much of where I am with the writing at the moment, though I can say things have taken a giant leap forward. The character profiles are fully developed; the whole plot is sketched out in sections; the menace haunting a troubled young mother is seeping out onto the page. It’s all so clear in my mind that the players are even invading my dreams as well as monopolising my days!

From the outset I’ve had a vivid mental picture of the setting for this medical thriller since I used to drive through this small Scottish town often. But this week I was actually back there, tramping the icy cold streets, imagining the happenings in Killing Me Gently, notebook and pencil in hand. Standing rooted to the spot, feeling the threat stalking through my fictional world; making it so much easier to identify key details which would authenticate the events and bring the setting alive. Sending a real shiver down my spine in the process! (OK, yes, it was hovering around zero degrees!!)

Most of this is all very much internalised and non-transferable, so I thought I’d give you a glimpse of the background canvas against which the tale is set. Hopefully that will wet your appetite without jinxing anything!

Picture, then, steeply pitched roofs with ornate decoration …

grand and beautiful old stone houses …

imposing nineteenth century churches …

names of streets and dwellings etched into the walls …

even a Victorian postbox set in the stonework on a significant corner …

But at this point the curtain closes. Thus far and no further. Some things can only be revealed on publication day!

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