Many things, countless things, inspire writers’ ideas. Night Writer Laura Vosika shares one of her inspirations.
Urquhart Castle, one of Scotland’s largest medieval castles, standing on the shore of Loch Ness, was one of two main inspirations for Niall’s home, Castle Glenmirril. (Castle Tioram was the other.) It sits on a promontory jutting out into the loch, at the north end of the Great Glen.
Urquhart dates from medieval days, or earlier. Adomnan’s Life of Columba tells us that a structure of some sort stood on the same site as early as the 6th Century, most likely the home of an elderly Pict noble, Emchath, whom St. Columba converted, on his way to visit King Brude. As an interesting side note, other sources say it was on his trip to visit Brude that St. Columba became the first recorded observer of the Loch Ness monster. He saw a sea creature attacking a man, and drove it off by making the sign of the cross and ordering it to leave. As a second interesting sidenote, reports say that most Nessie sightings do occur near Urquhart. I guess it’s as popular among behemoth semi-mythical sea creatures as among humans!
See the full story at The World of the Blue Bells Chronicles.