Day One--The Channel Islands

I’m pleased to confirm that I’ve accepted new contracts with both my publishers. For Sourcebooks Casablanca, I’ll be writing a Downton Abbey-esque family saga set in Regency England and for Kensington Zebra, I’m returning to 16th century Scotland (crumbling castles, kilted heroes and lost treasures abound!)

My DH suggested that I should do some “hands-on” research before I begin these new stories, so we recently spent 12 glorious days sailing around the UK.

St. PeterportOur cruise started with a stop at Guernsey, one of the Channel Islands. There are 8 inhabited islands and 6 empty islets in the archipelago. Guernsey (yes, as its name suggests, it is famous for its cows and dairy products!) is only 8 miles from France and, as you can imagine, it’s changed hands many times over the years. During WWII, it was occupied by German forces and there’s a literary connection to the island–The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society was set on this small chunk of land.

The Channel IslandsThey say geography is destiny.

It was cold with a biting wind at Guernsey. We were treated to a taste of just how exposed these islands are to the elements as well as the conflicting political interests that surround them. The people who live there would have to be hearty, tough-minded and self-sufficient.

At least, that’s how I’d write them.

Now I’m off to download The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society. It’s sort of a must. How about you? Have you ever visited the place where a novel was set? Were you disappointed or did the setting live up to your expectations?

6 thoughts on “Day One–The Channel Islands

  1. Nynke says:

    I’m surprised the Channel Islands were so cold – I always envisage them as relatively balmy places in the far South of England. But obviously, that far South isn’t all that far south, and rough winds do shake the darling buds of May :).

    1. Mia says:

      Indeed, the darling buds were shaking in their shoes! Perhaps the Islands are nicer later in the summer, but in May we found them pretty raw. They are totally exposed to the winds roaring across the Atlantic, after all.

  2. Marcy W says:

    Having seen the photos you and the DH have posted on FB, I can say that this cruise hit all the spots I would most want to in the UK! With the bonus of a bit of France, too. What an amazing trip — and you must be so full of ideas and impressions and visualizations, you’ll be spitting out books at an amazing rate for years (that’s a hopeful wish, by the way)! “The Guernsey Literary …” is a favorite of mine, and to see the place would be inspiring, I’m sure. Eagerly awaiting more photos and tales of the trip … and thanks for sharing!

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      I’m tickled to be able to share my pics, Marcy. We did hit so many “must see’s.” Next post will be about our Irish adventures in Cork & Dublin.

      My creative pump is completely primed and I’m ready to dive into the new Scottish story!

  3. Congratulations on the new sale! The trip sounds cold but amazing! I’ve always wanted to go there.

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      Thanks, Colleen. I’m excited about the new stories.

      We bundled up and kept our umbrellas handy, but you can’t really complain about the weather when you travel. It is what it is.

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