Na h-Innse Gall – Islands of the Strangers

An island like no other


My Scotland isn’t Highland bens and glens and Christmas tree forests. It’s full of empty howling treeless moors of gold and green and purple. Of lochans so still you could climb down their slopes of scree to a stony low summit and another cloudless blue sky. Of seas so wild and deep, their turquoise bellies foam white and warm against miles of untouched sand. Of a vast blue endless bowl of sky, a dome of light and moon and stardust. Quicksand and Golden eagles. Palm trees and sunshine; storms and snow rainbows. Forgotten roads of stony ruins and abandoned cars; haunted square-eyed sheilings with low rusted corrugated roofs. Silence and howling wind. Peat fires and golden small lights in the long black dark. Stones that remember, that stand sentinel over people who are tough and blunt and warm and kind.

The Isle of Lewis & Harris is an island like no other, inspirational and magical and completely unique. Being able to write an entire novel set in my favourite place in the whole world wasn’t just a privilege, it was a joy.

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