I Sorted the Characters from Myth Hunter into Hogwarts Houses!

I stumbled upon some great writing advice last night. Instead of filling in long profile questionnaires (which I hate) to get to know your characters, just sort everyone into Hogwarts Houses! We all know exactly what it means when you say someone is a Gryffindor or a Slytherin, so why not skip all the unnecessary details and go right to the heart of it?

What a fun idea!

So yes, I sorted all the main characters from Myth Hunter, the first novel in my Mythical Menagerie urban fantasy short story serial, into their respective Houses. I know, I’m a total geek. And to make it even geekier, I’m using the profile photos I made for each of them in the Sims 4 here.

Ambrose Davids

My main protagonist, Ambrose, is a Gryffindor. He’s a normal guy who inadvertently stumbled into a world that’s he not completely prepared to deal with. Without any special skills to cope with the shenanigans he finds himself in, he has to fall back on his wit, bravery and nerve to get out of some close scrapes intact. He’s also the guy who will jump fences and take on more than he can handle to help someone in need.

Amari Kerubo

Amari, occasionally also a protagonist, is a Gryffindor too. At first glance, she might look like a Hufflepuff, because she’s committed to the cause of the Keeper, a hard worker who has the best interests of the mythical creatures in the Repository at heart. But woe betide anyone who tries to hurt anyone in her care!

Daniel Brady

Ambrose’s best friend, Daniel, is a total Hufflepuff. He’s loyal and fair and always there when you need him. He values hard work and friendship and is generally a fun guy to have by your side.

Sarah Miller

As a police detective, Sarah is all about intelligence, curiosity and knowledge, which she uses to find criminals and bring them to justice. She’s a formidable enemy, but also a fierce ally. When not on duty, her creative side comes to the fore as a lover of art and a student of art history. Sarah is Ravenclaw.

Cassie Davids

It looks like bravery runs in the Davids family, at least where the younger members are concerned. Ambrose’s sister, Cassie, is a Gryffindor too. She’s fiercely protective of her brother and would do anything for him. She’s a courageous young woman with a strong independent streak.

Monique Tesserier

Monique is the quintessential Slytherin. She’s all about cunning, resourcefulness and self-preservation. She’ll do what it takes to get what she wants. Don’t get in her way, because she’ll run right over you.

Sorting my characters into their Houses has actually been a very valuable exercise for me. Almost all of them ended up in a different House than I had expected and I’m sure keeping this in mind will make writing them in future books much more interesting and accurate.

I’ve known for a while in which House I belong (Ravenclaw). Where would you sort yourself? If you’re a writer, do you sort your characters into Hogwarts Houses? Where does your main character fit?

Falling in Love with Writing Again

Where writing is concerned, I’ve been living under a number of false truths the last few years.

I recently started working on Series 2 of my Mythical Menagerie short story urban fantasy serial, after the release of Myth Hunter, the compilation of Series 1, in June 2020. In the last two weeks, everything I believed about myself as a writer has been turned on its head.

False Truth #1: I am a Planner

I always considered myself to be a plantser – a weird hybrid between a plotter and a pantser, but someone who most definitely needed to plan before attempting any kind of writing. For each installment in Series 1 (except for the very first one, the one that flowed from my fingers like blood through my veins), I wrote a detailed 1-2 page synopsis of everything that needed to happen in that story. By the time it came to writing the first draft, it felt like I was pulling teeth! I hate first drafts, I told myself. I love going back and editing them, but putting those first words down? Only the promise of lots of chocolate (in either milkshake or brownie format) could entice me to do that. It took me months to get a first draft of around 10k – 20k words out.

The funny thing was, when it came to writing a monthly flash fiction piece for my newsletter, all I needed was the first sentence and a general idea to get cracking, and I’d have it done within two or three hours, usually in such a clean state that it needed little to no editing.

So why was I struggling so much with my longer stories?

I told myself that it was because I didn’t know what was needed for the entire series when I was writing each separate installment. So for Series 2, I sat down and plotted a high-level outline that encompasses the whole storyline for the next book. That done, I set about to go into the finer detail for Part 1.

And got stuck. Seriously stuck. I DID NOT want to write anything down that was already vaguely mulling around in my head.

So I didn’t. I thought about how much I enjoy writing flash fiction without a plan, and I just started writing. And it’s been glorious! I haven’t had this much fun writing a first draft since I wrote Beginner’s Luck back in 2017.

False Truth #2: I Can’t Write Every Day

Because, you know, I’m busy, and resistance, and I’d rather scroll endlessly down my Facebook feed until I’m bored to tears.

Nonsense.

Unless there’s a major crisis at the day job that sees me working until late into the night, there is always some time to write a few words. They don’t have to be the world’s best words, just words that get the story moving forward again. They don’t have to be many words either – getting to 100 words is really not that hard if you don’t count them while you write.

Since I’ve started this new first draft, I’ve written every single weekday. I give myself weekends off, because I try to stay as far away from my laptop as possible when I don’t absolutely have to sit in front of it.

False Truth #3: I Need to Schedule Time for Binge Writing

That is my preferred method of writing. I like my twice-weekly writing trip to the coffee shop and it’s probably the thing I miss the most during these crazy lockdown times. I fully plan to reinstate that particular habit as soon as it’s safe.

But for now… yeah, I don’t need it. I can get by with grabbing some time somewhere during the day when things are slow, and writing between interruptions. I set myself a daily target of 500 words and I have exceeded every day, sometimes doubling or even tripling it.

False Truth #4: My Creativity is Fuelled by Chocolate

Seriously, just look at these writing posts from my Instagram feed!

Chocolate definitely helps as a motivation to get me writing, but it’s not necessary.

False Truth #5: I’ll Get the Words Done When I Need To

I’m pressure-driven and normally putting myself under pressure to get something done is good enough. But when a self-imposed writing deadline approaches, I tell myself no-one really cares anyway and why should I push myself? I’ll get it done in due time.

That, my friends, is why it took me three years to get my first novel out.

No more.

I’ve decided to try a bit of social accountability and committed to posting my total word count progress every Friday on my Instagram feed. So far, it’s working. I mean, I’ll feel like a complete idiot if I have to post the same number two weeks in a row, right?

This also comes with the added bonus of friends and followers cheering me on, which, I have to admit, is really nice and very motivating.

False Truth #6: I’m not a Real Writer

It’s hard to be a real writer when you don’t actually write, or when you mostly hate it when you do. But now that I’m writing frequently and I’m truly loving it again, I can safely say I finally feel like a REAL WRITER.

What false truths are preventing you from reaching your goals?

What I’m Currently Working On: Plotting Mythical Menagerie Series 2

These last few months have both dragged on interminably and flew past faster than you can say “lockdown blues.” Can you believe we’re in July already?

The last time I posted an update I was all excited about a new novella I’d been plotting. I scraped together the courage and flew through the first 3500 words faster than anything I’ve ever done, and then stopped. I hit a difficult part of the story and took a break to think about it, and never went back. I think the Covid-19 lethargy had finally caught up to me by then and I just wasn’t feeling it. I didn’t think I could do the story justice, and I still don’t, so I’m letting it simmer again for another time.

Also, Myth Hunter, the complete Series 1 of my Mythical Menagerie short story series, was published on Amazon! You can still read it for free on Kindle Unlimited here. I was in a spin getting the book trailer ready and scrounging for pre-release reviews and watching the sales page when the book was finally available. That initial excitement has worn off now, but it reminded me how much I enjoyed writing Ambrose’s story.

Which leads me to where I am now: I’ve started plotting Series 2!

I’m doing it a little differently this time. For Series 1 I had a vague idea where I wanted the story to go, but I plotted each installment separately in some weird plotter-pantser-plantser hybrid manner that meant that I wrote each story before I knew what was going to happen next. Each subsequent installment was nerve-wracking, because I didn’t know if I was just floundering forward or actually writing something worth reading. Some of you might remember that I had to scrap my idea for the final installment and start over again just to make sure that the novel felt like a complete story on its own. I was pretty lucky that it all worked out in the end, to be honest.

So this time I’m sitting down and thinking about the whole thing before I start writing. I know I want to do roughly six stories again. I know (more or less) where I want it to go. I’m still figuring out how I’m going to get there. The first three stories are pretty solid in my mind and I’m showing herculean restraint by not diving in with the writing just yet. From story four onwards, things are still a little blurry at the moment. I’m resisting the temptation to go ahead anyway until I know what needs to happen in those middle installments to get me to the end of book two.

While I’m mulling all this over, I’m doing some more research into mythology and folklore to make sure that my stories stay unusual and interesting. Ambrose will still romp around Europe, but he’s also going to venture a little further away into the Far East, and my knowledge of Asian mythology is sketchy at best. It doesn’t help that I haven’t been to either China or Japan (two of the likely settings in the series), which is probably another reason why those last few stories are still foggy. I need a research trip!

If you have any comments, requests or constructive criticism after reading Myth Hunter, please let me know either in the comments below or via email or on my Facebook page. Some readers want more Daniel, others want less Sarah, some would like to see a specific city featured. If you think there’s anything I can do to improve on Myth Hunter, shout at me – I can take it. I’d love to make the next book even better!

Unsatisfying Happily Ever Afters in The Big Bang Theory

We recently finished watching the final season of The Big Bang Theory (yes, I know, we’re a little behind) and although I love this series so much, I can’t help but feel that the endings some of them got weren’t quite the ones they deserved. Especially so for the girls. Let’s unpack this a little.

Fair warning: spoilers below.

Sheldon is clearly the main protagonist for the final season and the writers therefor focused all their attention on giving him the ending he deserved. Not only did he finally win a Nobel prize, but he’s happily married and has come to the realization that he needs his friends to be happy and successful and fulfilled. He’s come a long way from the selfish guy we met in Season 1.

Leonard completed his main storyline the day Penny said “I do” and since then hasn’t seen much of the limelight. His happily ever after focusses on the fact that he finally realizes his own self-worth and forgives his mother for all the crappy things she’s done to him. As a result, he’s able to move forward in his career, although not in the project he hoped to work on.

Penny’s arc is especially disappointing to me. She’s given up on her dreams of becoming an actress and is now a successful sales rep – a job that suits her but that doesn’t really bring her any joy. She’s married to Leonard, because (as all the characters often reiterates) he’s worn her down until the point where she said yes. When we first met her she was young and naïve and happy, but now she’s disillusioned, sarcastic and really quite mean, especially to Leonard. In the final season their relationship is fragile – Penny is adamant that she doesn’t want children, much to Leonard’s distress. However, in the last episode we learn that Penny is pregnant and she seems really happy about it, too. She’s even nice to Leonard. I can’t help but feel that the writers let us down here by forcing her into a stereotypical role and making us believe that impending motherhood is what she needs to be happy again.

Amy, much like Sheldon, has also come a long way. Over the course of the series, she’s turned from a socially awkward pariah into the wisest person of the group. She’s (mostly) happily married to Sheldon and is recognized as a successful scientist. In the final season, she has a makeover and changes her dowdy look into something a little more sexy – completely out of character for her (kudos to Sheldon for being upset about it). She’s also responsible for the brainwave that saves their mutual project and ultimately leads to the two of them winning the Nobel prize in physics together. However, she needed to give up her own career in neurobiology to help Sheldon achieve his dream. At the award ceremony, she proclaims that science is a great field for women before stepping aside and letting Sheldon receive most of the glory. Again, I find it disappointing that a woman had to let go of her own aspirations in order to let her man achieve happiness.

Howard is, thankfully, no longer the creepy guy we met in Season 1, but has turned into a committed husband, a good father, and even a national hero (albeit only to his friends). His happily ever after is reconciling his greatest achievement (becoming an astronaut) with the fact that he was scared every second he was up in space. He says goodbye to his wild youth (by letting go of a scooter and not chasing after a girl who used to like him) and embraces his responsibilities (although he does jump at the chance to become famous as the “best friend” of the man who’s about to win the Nobel prize). His life has turned out great and he’s finally content.

Bernadette is another character whose happily ever after is disappointing. Like Penny, she balked at having children and in the final season we can see that they’re wearing her down (even to the point where she needs to hide out in the doll house after work for some quiet time). When she’s away from home and the kids need her, her maternal instincts kick in and she realizes how much she loves them and that her place is to be with them. She’s also achieved success in her career, but at the cost of becoming so mean most of her colleagues (and even Penny) are afraid of her. At least her relationship with Howard is better than ever and, like him, she also jumps at her small claim to fame of being Amy’s “best friend” on TV.

Raj, poor guy. All Raj has ever wanted was someone to love him back. In the final season he’s desperate enough to consider an arranged marriage with a woman who is clearly unsuitable for him. He’s about to move overseas after this woman, when Howard comes for him, just like in the movies, and stops him from boarding the plane. And that’s it. His friendship with Howard is his happily ever after. Why the writers didn’t see fit to just give him a boyfriend (he’s clearly everybody’s gay friend) or, at the very least, a girl that is just as hopelessly romantic as he is, I will never understand.

Having grown middle-aged beside these characters, their (fictional) lives mean a lot to me. They were a new generation of Friends, but this time composed of a group of socially awkward, geeky misfits that I could associate with much more than with the original bunch. To see them find love and happiness, just like the popular pretty people, and even more so, acceptance and success, has been important to me. I’m over the moon for Sheldon, relieved alongside Leonard and impressed by Howard, but seeing the women forced into conventional gender-stereotyped assumptions of happiness was a letdown, one that I’m still trying to get over a few weeks later. And I just feel bad for Raj.

As a storyteller, I can understand the need for creating endings that will please the audience. After all, all the characters are happy at the end of the series, but to me their happiness feels like it has been conditioned. What these characters taught us over the years is that it’s okay to be different, to not conform to the norm.

Unfortunately, their happily ever afters were carefully groomed to fit with social convention.

What do you think? Are you satisfied with the end of all these character arcs? What would you have changed if you could come up with a happily every after for the characters of The Big Bang Theory?

Where Have All The Boys Gone?

I have a four-year old son who believes he’s Elsa.

I’m okay with that, because Elsa is awesome, and because who else is he supposed to look up to and identify with when watching animated movies? And with that, I specifically refer to Disney or Pixar movies, because those are our preference in this house.

Consider the following list of films that we have at home (although my little boy hasn’t watched most of them yet – some of these movies are remarkably scary for stories aimed at kids!) and here I’m focusing specifically on main characters only:

Adult Male Main Character (9)

Incredibles 2, Ralph Breaks the Internet, Wreck-It Ralph, Up, The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, Monster’s Inc, Toy Story (x3), Tarzan

Adult Female Main Character (4)

Incredibles 2, Finding Dory, The Incredibles, Finding Nemo

Young Adult Male Main Character (3)

Hercules, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Aladdin

Young Adult Female Main Character (6)

Frozen, Tangled, Mulan, Pocahontas, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid

Girl Main Character (3)

Moana, Brave, Tinker Bell (x5)

 Boy Main Character (2)

Big Hero 6, The Lion King

Other (2)

WALL-E, Ratatouille

From this list of 29 movies, only two of them have a young boy as the main protagonist – and of those two one is a lion. If we’re willing to look at older characters, then six of them have female leads, with only three who have male leads – and none of those three are exactly relatable to my son. The cards are turned as the characters get older, with a score of four for the women and nine for the men – although in all four cases for female characters they share the stage with the men.

So adult characters aside, in the representation of girls (9) vs boys (5), the boys are in the minority.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m very glad that girls have lots of female characters to watch and relate to, and that they’re no longer mostly concerned with attracting the attention of a marriageable guy. They’re feisty and fierce and clever and brave, and that’s all great. Even the ones that suffer from past stereotypes are still good (I grew up with these movies and I love them unconditionally).

But it’s a little problematic if you’re a little boy looking for a movie with a main character that you can identify with.

I think in the midst of the drive for gender equality the focus has shifted so much towards strong female characters aimed at empowering young girls, that the boys have been left by the wayside. All the arguments that have been made in the past for the inclusion of female role models now seem to apply to boys.

All I want on behalf of my son is a movie with a young human boy as the main character, who goes on a grand adventure and overcomes the odds while learning a few life lessons along the way. Is that too much to ask?

Granted, my sample might be skewed because all the movies we have in our house are the ones I loved as a girl (and still love),  but if I do a quick Internet search, the trend seems to hold strong.

I’m just a little worried than in trying to correct some mistakes of the past, we’re inadvertently making similar mistakes now. I suspect if I look at books for kids I’ll get the same results. This is such a basic discrimination (and let’s not even get started on the gender spectrum or race or religion discussions!) that can easily be rectified.

Creators: write inclusively, and don’t follow the trends of the day just for the sake of them.

Right now a little boy feels left out and confused. And we really don’t need more of that.

Have you noticed this trend too? Can you recommend any good animated movies aimed at little boys?

I Created My Book’s Characters in Sims 4!

Yes, I know, I’m a complete geek.

I had some unexpected free time over the Easter weekend and, instead of using it productively to write my book or something else meaningful, I spent an hour or so quickly creating mock-ups of the characters from Myth Hunter, my upcoming novel, in the Sims 4.

Ambrose and the gang!

How cute is this? If you’ve read Beginner’s Luck already, can you tell who any of these are?

Looking back on this image a few days later, I’m struck by the following thoughts:

  • For a novel with a male protagonist, I really have a lot of supporting female characters. That’s always been my plan, but I didn’t quite realise how outnumbered the boys are. This is something I might have to look into for the next series.
  • Although the majority of my characters are Caucasian, I’ve tried to be a little more diverse in my cast. I also have LGBTQ+ characters. Issues of race and gender are not a focus in my stories, and I find it difficult to write outside my own lived experience, but I do try to be inclusive. Hopefully readers will not be too offended or disappointed by my depiction of someone they may associate with.
  • There are quite a few important characters that I haven’t added to this picture, and one that isn’t important yet but will be in the second series.

I had a lot of fun creating these characters. I even picked out their traits and lifetime wishes! All I want to do now is go and play with them to see how they react to each other in-game! (Fortunately for my own productivity, I don’t particularly enjoy playing Sims 4. Sims 3 on the other hand…)

They say you have to write the book that you want to read. This series was definitely written for me. I think it’s such a fun story, and it includes a romp through Europe and an even greater cast of mythical creatures, adapted to fit my own universe. It appeals to both the traveller and the dreamer sides of my personality.

I hope readers will enjoy it too.

Either way, I can’t wait to start writing the next series! I have BIG plans for Ambrose and the gang.

Would you like to see more character images like this or do you prefer not to taint your own imagination? Interested in a little more in-depth character bio’s?

What Makes You DNF a Book?

This past weekend, for the first time in probably a decade, I gave up on a book. I wanted to throw it across the room and out the window, but since I was reading via the Kindle app on my phone, I held myself in. Instead, I created a new DNF (Did Not Finish) shelf for it on Goodreads, where it now quietly languishes on its own.

To say I was sorely disappointed is an understatement. It’s the third book in a series that started off with such great promise. I gave the first book 4 stars, for crying out loud! The second book wasn’t as good, but I figured it probably suffered from second book syndrome, gave it the benefit of the doubt and a 3-star rating, and eagerly anticipated the last instalment. What makes it even worse is that I sort of know the author (from our mutual Facebook writing group) and expected much better.

Strangely enough, this novel currently has an average rating of 4.59 stars on Goodreads, with  a number of gushing reviews, proclaiming it to be “love, love, love” and “everything you could want”. Apparently it has “all the feels” – and with that statement I’m guessing the reviewer wasn’t referring to the feeling that I had of wanting to rather commit ritual seppuku than read one more paragraph.

What did I hate so much about this book, you may wonder.

I recently shared this article about strong female characters on my Facebook page written by an author who is able to explain the issues I have with this book so much more eloquently than I ever could.

Everything said in this article holds true for me. A female character does not need to suffer endless physical abuse to make her stronger. Sure, if the novel’s theme is about violence and maltreatment and the journey of overcoming or rising above such circumstances, by all means go for it. And I love a girl who can grab a sword and fight right beside the boys, or hone her body into a weapon with which to overthrow the oppressors. But if the violence is gratuitous and just for the sake of showing us she’s a badass, then my teeth start grinding against each other. Throw in a supposed love interest who treats her like shit, but she can’t help falling for his tortured and misunderstood soul, even though she is already involved with another man who, surprise-surprise also doesn’t have the best track record, then I end up writing rant posts like this one.

Maybe I’ve just read one too many frustrating young adult dystopian love triangles in the last few years. And maybe I’m alone in wanting strong female characters who are actually strong because they have grit and determination and a sense of self-worth that isn’t dependent on what the moody man-boy thinks of her.  Maybe enduring torture, rape threats, and forced bonding rituals for no other reason than to make another man jealous make the average reader love a “strong” female character, but I’m holding out for something with a little more nuance and a lot more authenticity.

Maybe this book isn’t as bad as I think it is and redeems itself deeper in, but I DNF’ed it at 35%, so I guess I’ll never know.

What makes you put a book down without finishing it? Can you think of any strong female characters done right? Are there any books you hate as much as I hated this one – and why?

Ambrose’s Scotland

In SPRIGGAN’S QUEST, the very last installment of the MYTHICAL MENAGERIE Series 1, Ambrose has to find three legendary items. His quest takes him to Ireland, Wales and Scotland in a whirlwind race against time.

When I think of Scotland, I think of cold, misty days, tartan, warm comfort food, shaggy cows, and shortbread! It’s a country I’ve visited twice already, and I’m sure I’ll go again. I had a great time reliving those memories in Ambrose’s footsteps, and I hope you will too.

Here are a few of my favourite images from across the web showing scenes of Ambrose’s Cardiff to get your imagination going. Enjoy!

(PS: These images are plucked from Pinterest, so I don’t know who the original copyright belongs to. If you do, please contact me and I’ll gladly credit the correct source.)

Are you inspired by travel destinations? Do you like to read stories that are set in places where you’ve been or where you’d like to go? Have you ever been to Scotland?

What I’m Currently Working On: Something New!

Someone asked in my writer’s group why people are suddenly saying they are so much more productive now that we’re all confined to our houses during coronavirus lockdown. Is it because we’re no longer commuting, or gossiping at watercoolers, or going out for drinks in the evening…?

The answer in my case is energy. I’m an introvert (in fact, my Myers Briggs test revealed that I am 98% introverted), which means that any time I spend in the company of others drains my battery.

Now that I’m at home, locked away in the study with only limited interaction with my immediate family, it’s like I’m the Energizer bunny. I have energy for everything at the end of the workday!

So, what am I doing with all my newfound joie de vivre?

  • I’m busy editing the final version of Spriggan’s Quest – the last installment of Series 1 of the Mythical Menagerie series. I’m still waiting for feedback from some betas, but I expect to be done with these changes within a week or so.
  • I’ve applied for and received ISBN numbers (for e-book, paperback and audio) and will soon contact my designer to make covers for paperback and audio too (have you seen my gorgeous cover yet?).
  • I’ve completed a Udemy course on how to make little videos and am learning the basics of DaVinci Resolve (professional video editing software) so I can make a book trailer.
  • I’ve got two webinar replays lined up that deal with book formatting and book release strategies – I’ll probably watch them in the next week – and then start formatting the book.
  • I’ve been reading more non-fiction, which has sparked all sorts of ideas for flash fiction for my monthly newsletter.
  • I have NOT been blogging consistently (or pretty much at all) this year, because I was focused on getting Ambrose done, but I did add two new posts about Rome and Ireland and plan to do more blogging now that the pressure is off. That includes writing about last year’s trip to Slovenia and Croatia on my travel blog.

But most exciting of all – I’ve plotted out a new story!

I wanted to take a little break from writing Ambrose’s adventures while I focus on getting the novel published, so I thought it would be the ideal time to write a short story that’s been at the back of my head for a while now. The idea for this story started out as a scene I wanted to write as a flash fiction, but I put one sentence down on paper and knew it would have to be something longer. It’s been idling ever since then.

I dusted off Scrivener (which I love, but rarely use, due to the fact that it’s not great for syncing between laptops, but since I’m now permanently at home I’m only working on one laptop anyway) and have plotted the entire story out on the cork board. I wanted to see if I had enough ideas and content to turn this story into a novella (roughly 40k words) as opposed to a short story (under 10k words). Turns out I do!

As a bonus side effect of this technique, I was also able to see all the problems in pacing and conflict with my first plot outline. I used the labelling options to mark some scenes red and others green to indicate if they help my protagonist move towards or away from her goals, and realized that there were lots of green and barely any red. Not enough stumbling blocks! Then I reworked and reshuffled scenes, and added a few new ones, and I’m as happy as I can be with the plot for now.

Now I just have to scrape up the courage to actually start writing… 

How are you keeping busy during this lockdown period? Are you going slowly insane, or are you enjoying the time off from the hustle and bustle?

Ambrose’s Ireland

I’ll admit it – I haven’t been to Ireland yet! Something that I’ll rectify in the very near future, because we’re planning on traveling through the Emerald Isle in June 2020, if the corona virus allows.

But that hasn’t stopped Ambrose from going there in search of luck in SPRIGGAN’S QUEST, the final installment of Series 1 of the MYTHICAL MENAGERIE. Unlike the other stories, he doesn’t spend any time in a city, but immediately goes off into the countryside – a place that is green and verdant and mysterious in my imagination…

Here are a few of my favourite images from across the web showing scenes of Ambrose’s Ireland to get your own imagination going. Enjoy!

(PS: These images are plucked from Pinterest, so I don’t know who the original copyright belongs to. If you do, please contact me and I’ll gladly credit the correct source.)

Are you inspired by travel destinations? Do you like to read stories that are set in places where you’ve been or where you’d like to go? Have you ever been to Ireland?