The Story Behind Time Travel Romance Somewhere My Lass


somewhere_my_lass_final resizedSomewhere My Lass was an intriguing tale to weave and quite an adventure. It’s also one I had no intention of undertaking until the vivid dream that led to the startling intro: the hero, Neil MacKenzie, returns home from work to find his elderly housekeeper lying murdered at the bottom of the winding staircase and a young woman in full Scottish dress slumped at the top. She, however, isn’t dead.

That’s all I had to go on at the start of this venture, but I was so intrigued I had to learn their story and pondered all the clues given. An old Victorian house, check, I’m very familiar with those; man wearing modern suit, so the story opens in present day, got it, but the young woman came from the past. Scotland’s past. This will take some doing, I concluded. Being a member of Celtic Hearts Romance Writers, a fabulous online group, I’d taken a Scottish history class and reread that trove of material while doing my usual obsessive research. I love gleaning more about the past and used an actual feud in 1602 between the MacKenzies and MacDonalds as a jumping off place.

Both Neil and the heroine, Mora Campbell, were so clear in my mind and a lot of fun to work with, definitely rank among my cast of favorites. The romance between them is one of the best I’ve written. The chemistry just took off. 

Regarding the setting for Somewhere My Lass, until this book all my stories took place in America, past and present. This departure to Scotland was a challenge, but I drew deeply on my English Scots-Irish roots, which I’ve been doing all along. Apart from the prominent Native American characters in some of my work, the others are of English/Scots-Irish backgrounds, with a smidgen of French. My ancestors, too, have a smidgen of French in the meld, a Norman knight who fought with William the Conqueror, and some French Huguenots.

Scottish Highlands pass at GlencoeOne unique aspect of the story, is that rather than beginning with the hero or heroine going back in time, I brought her forward (as was the case in the dream) before sending them back together. I also included kewl sci-fi features, new for me. I’ve learned a great deal from my journey into Bonnie Old Scotland. I fell in love with the characters, new ones nudge at my mind. The colorful secondary character, Neil’s quirky friend Angus Fergus, has a lot of fans, and his own story now, Somewhere in the Highlands.

In writing Somewhere My Lass,  I was influenced by my beloved Author C S Lewis and his Chronicles of Narnia that I grew up reading. I’m still looking for Narnia. Isn’t everyone? My love of old castles and the Scottish Highlands also lent inspiration.Many of the early Scots-Irish settlers in the Shenandoah Valley, my ancestors among them, chose to live here because of the resemblance the valley and mountains bore to Scotland and Ireland. As near to home as they were likely to find in the New World.

ancient doorThe concept behind my Somewhere in Time series, of which Somewhere My Lass is Book Two (though written to stand alone) is that the story opens in present day, so far my home state of Virginia, and then transports the reader Somewhere else. Either back to an earlier time in the same house, as in Somewhere My Love and Somewhere The Bells Ring, or another place altogether, as in Somewhere My Lass. The wonderful old homes I grew up in and visited over the years are an integral part of the inspiration behind this series. In Somewhere My Lass, I used a compilation of Victorian homes for the mysterious house in historic Staunton, Virginia where the story begins.
Chapel Hill - old VA family home place
How do they go back and forth in time, you may ask. Why through ‘the door to nowhere,’ of course, a portal to the past. I was acquainted with just such a door as a child. However that was typically Victorian, not the ancient door pictured, a royalty free image, I hasten to add. No, this Medieval door is where one enters on the other side of the portal.

***Somewhere My Lass is on sale in kindle for .99

Old Family Home pictured above.

8 responses to “The Story Behind Time Travel Romance Somewhere My Lass

  1. I love stories about castles. I’ve seen a few from the highway, but the only one I was actually in was Edinburgh Castle. At the time I was more interested in the art work, but I just looked it up and found that at one time Mary Queen of Scotts resided there. The stone upon which royalty sat at different times was sent to England, but was just returned in 1996.
    I have all three of your Somewhere stories, but haven’t been able to read them. Would one of them have taken place there? If not I would love to read a time travel set in that very castle.
    Ray G

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  2. SOMEWHERE MY LASS is my favorite of your Somewhere in Time series, although I also adore Angus Fergus. I am so pleased he has his own story now. I’m waiting for the next in the series, ahem, to follow this group. Best wishes for continued success! (I have to add that I saw the Stone of Scone/Destiny when we were in Edinburgh.)

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  3. I love hearing how you got your ideas and how the book came to be.
    Sue B

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