Back at my desk …

After four glorious weeks in Scotland, I am back home sat at my and eager to work on my novel. We had fantastic weather, so don’t believe anyone who tells you it only rains in Scotland!  And as for the famous Scottish Midge, as I was staying near the coast I avoided their biting, itching presence!

Usually my trip to Scotland takes place in September to coincides with the annual Wigtown Book Festival. Visiting earlier in the year has its advantages as the woods were full of bluebells, in fact, I don’t recall ever seeing so many. The scent occasionally combined with wild garlic was overpowering.

Of course, no trip to Scotland is without some research for my next book, including a visit to Portpatrick, the village in Galloway I have based my fictional village on.

 

Glenwhan, a garden created over a period of 30 years out of open moorland and bracken, has not only solved an issue I had with my hero’s occupation, but also given me an idea for another book.

I’ve not been completely out of touch with the publishing world while away. Some of you may be aware of the Trademark issues that are taking place across the Atlantic, where a romance author has trademarked a single word in order to protect ‘her brand.’ In doing so, she has created a furore that so far has seen three people in court and resulted in Amazon removing books from its website. After  intervention by the Romance Writer’s of America and the Author’s Guild, Amazon has reinstated the novels affected pending the results of the ongoing court case.

Fortunately, an application has been filed to have the trademark in question overturned. I hope it succeeds, because as things stand, it has far reaching consequences for writers of any genre. ***

Words are frequently repeated in book titles, as indeed are titles themselves. I know of one book with the same title as my novel, The House on the Shore. Did I threaten to sue the author, or they me? No.

Trademark law works differently to copyright law, which protects the contents of a book. I won’t bore you with all the legal details (this article explains the issue) other than to say that Trademark law indicates a source of goods;  ie., a brand such as Apple Computers.

Like many authors, I am concerned that these applications for trademarks may set a precedent. While lawyers fight it out in front of a Judge on the other side of the Atlantic, I shall continue to  work on my next novel.

Until next time,

Victoria

 

*** Since writing this post I understand another application has been made by a different author to Trademark the words Dragon Slayer, Tamer, Destroyer and Star Justice. If granted, these would affect Paranormal authors and Science Fiction authors. This application is also being challenged.

 

A Holiday and Research

I love autumn, and am always happy when I spend it in Scotland. And, if I can combine a trip to my favourite part of the country with a little research for my next book, I’m even happier. The air seems crisper, the vistas clearer, the sunrises, and sunsets more stunning. I don’t mind the darker mornings and evenings, which give me the impetus to sit down and write, or finish the knitting projects that were abandoned in spring when longer days meant time spent in the garden.

I’ve just returned from two weeks staying on the Mull of Galloway, that ‘hammer head’ part of southwest Scotland that juts out into the Irish Sea. Part holiday, part research for my next book, it turned out to be two weeks full of beach walks, ancient stone circles, and stunning gardens hewn from hillsides.

Glenwhan Garden, Dunragit
Glenwhan Garden, Dunragit

The fictional village in my current manuscript is based on the town Portpatrick, a former port for transportation to and from Northern Ireland. The ferries have long gone, and Portpatrick is now a holiday resort and the starting point for the Southern Upland Way, a long distance path that stretches to the east coast some 212 miles away.

Portpatrick
Portpatrick

A little further south, lies the village of Port Logan, created by Colonel Andrew McDowall, the Laird of Logan in 1818. The Bell Tower at the end of the harbour was designed by Thomas Telford, better known for designing bridges and the Caledonian Canal.

The Bell Rower, Port Logan Harbour
The Bell Rower, Port Logan Harbour

I’m fascinated ancient carved stones, and was surprised to find a fine example of bothat Kirkmadrine Church. It is home to a collection of the oldest Christian monuments in Scotland.

 

Early Christian Stone Carving, Kirkmadrine Church
Early Christian Stone Carving, Kirkmadrine Church

While driving back from Wigtown, I also came across the Standing Stones of Torhouse, a Bronze Age stone circle consisting of 19 granite boulders. The three central stones are known as King Gladus’s Tomb, a legendary and probably mythical early Scottish King. While the dumpy granite boulders are not as impressive as the stone pillars of Callanish on the Isle of Lewis, it was nonetheless interesting to read that the circle was probably erected between 2000-1500 BC as a religious centre.

Torhouse Stone Circle, Nr Wigtown
Torhouse Stone Circle, Nr Wigtown

And no post would be complete without a photo of the weather forecasting stone from the Mull of Galloway Lighthouse.

Weather forecasting stone, Mull of Galloway Lighthouse
Weather forecasting stone, Mull of Galloway Lighthouse

I am now home, armed with a camera full of images to inspire and a notebook full of ideas, it’s time to knuckle down to finishing the next book.

Until next time.

Merry Christmas!

ornaments

 

Kobo Winner!

As those of you who follow this website will know, I decided to giveaway a Kobo Mini eReader to celebrate the release of the audiobook recording of Ring of Lies.

Congratulations go to Lisa Pogson, whose name was first out of the hat in the draw for the Kobo Mini eReader.  I hope you it gives you hours of pleasure, Lisa.

 

Lisa Pogson

Holiday Special

From the 25th -31st December 2013, you can download a copy of The House on the Shore from any Amazon site for just 99p/99c

The House on the Shore

Heartbroken Anna MacDonald leaves Edinburgh to find peace at the edge of a Scottish loch. Safely ensconced in her late grandmother’s cottage, she can finally heal her heart and write the novel that has burned inside her for years. Her peace is short-lived. When debonair artist Luke Tallantyre’s yacht gets stranded in the loch, he seeks help at the nearest residence – Anna’s croft. She finds him annoying. He instantly dislikes the stunning but cranky hermit.

But there’s indisputable evidence that a hit man is on the prowl in the village. Is he after Anna? And what is Luke keeping from her that could deepen the danger? Against their wills, they join forces and embark on an adventure neither ever imagined…including a chance at true love.

ornaments

 

I want to wish all of my readers, and everybody who has attended one of my events and their families a Merry Christmas.  I appreciate all the support you have given me in 2013 and wish you a very Happy and Healthy New Year.

Victoria

 

World Book Night 2012

World Book Night is now in its second year,  was celebrated in the UK, Ireland, Germany and the USA by tens of thousands of people gifting books. This year it fell on the 23rd April which also marked the birth and death of Shakespeare.

Thomas Rotherham College
World Book Night 2012 - Thomas Rotherham College

The college had been chosen as a giver and had copies of Kazuo Isiguro’s ‘The Remains of the Day’ to give away to ‘A’ level English Students and their guests.  I had been invited to take part in the celebrations and to give an introductory talk about novel writing.  After refreshments we settled back into our seats for readings from staff and students of various texts including Shakespeare’s ‘Othello’ and ‘As You Like It.’

I would like to thank the Staff and the students for a very enjoyable evening and wish them all good luck in the forthcoming examinations.

Word Book Night, Saturday 5th March

World Book Night is a celebration of literature. With the full support of the Publishers Association, the Booksellers Association, the Independent Publishers Guild, the Reading Agency with libraries, World Book Day and the BBC, one million books will be given away by an army of passionate readers to members of the public across the UK and Ireland.

Thomas Rotherham College has invited me to take part in their celebrations when they will be handing out copies of Carol Ann Duffy’s, ‘The World’s Wife to their talented students.