Things I’ve reserched today:

Ullapool to Stornaway ferry times.

Daylight hours in northern Scotland during winter.

Topographical features of the Isle of Lewis.

The Callanish standing stones.

Any guesses on where my characters might be headed right about now?

I really enjoy research. It’s like travelling without moving, only less Dune-like. I love to set my stories in interesting places and put my characters into testing conditions. In this case, far north eastern Scotland in winter. But it has to be right. I can’t just guess this stuff, even though I know most of the details above to some degree. If the story is going to seem real and convincing, the little details need to be right. Not about right, but exactly right.

What times does the ferry to Stornaway run during winter? Can I match that to the storyline? What time will it get dark during that part of the story?

These things are important. The best bit is that all those things are easily found. The website www.timeanddate.com gives me sunrise and sunset times anywhere I need them. The Calmac ferries website has a downloadable PDF of their summer and winter timetables. The Internet is just about the best thing to happen to research ever. I still use books. You know, the old-fashioned method. But I love being able to look facts up as and when I need them.

It’s fun to be a fiction writer.

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