Braveheart, films, Glencoe, Gregory's Girl, Greyfriar's Bobby, Highland, Highlander, His Judas Bride, Kara McGurkie, Rob Roy, Romance, Scotland, Shallow Grave, Skyfall, The Black Wolf of Lochalpin, The Thirty Nine steps, Trainspotting
Let me tell you, as someone who spends a bit of time in it, it sure is.
Huddled in the Boot Bar in Glencoe, last January, having had a bit of a run in with a mountain–a tree root broke my fall as I sort of contemplated the beauty of the gully a hundred feet below–the party of English climbers we got talking to, agreed re the landscape. Hadn’t they just shamefully spent the day at the Ice Climbing Centre instead, having been forced off an adjacent peak to the one we’d been on.
The landscape is also stunning. I mean it even makes my photos look ok. From the remote upland hills of the south, to the mountainous ranges in the north, the landscape is also as diverse as the rolling winds that sweep it. There’s the savage grandeur of wild, lonely places like Glencoe and the sunlit splendour of the low lying Lowlands. The Scottish character is forged in granite..and I’m not talking people here, I’m talking the landscape itself.
Setting out to write His Judas Bride, I wanted to capture that canvas because it’s not just the country, it’s the history, it’s the very particular breed of people who inhabit this land.
It let me set up a Trojan Horse scenario, an enemy chief sending his daughter as a bride, only she’s not there to actually marry anyone—another wee Scottish tradition.
And, of course his Brotherhood of Wolves
You see another good reason to set a book in Scotland…never mind the gorgeous scenery, the rolling mists, the history, is the superstition, the myths and legends. Selling their souls? Scottish lords were aye doing that
Then there’s the fact you can forge your characters from all these things. Lochalpin is as much part of the Black Wolf as he is part of it. It wasn’t just enough that he HAD to be drop dead gorgeous for to remind Kara of anything, so she’s troubled even from that very first glimpse of him….
She is a woman who can well take care of herself. As the story unfolds she needs a reason to want to be involved with a man again, beyond her initial ruthless motives. And this one offers the kind of safety she’s never known.
All right time to stop the Call-fest.
Scotland isn’t just a great location for books, it’s a great location for movies. It’s purely hypothetical, in long ago Scotland there were no cinemas, but here’s ten set in some way in Scotland Kara and the Wolf might have enjoyed and why.
I’ll be back on Thursday this week with my Wolf Brotherhood quiz.
What’s not to like about this film that has Christopher Lambert playing a Highlander with a French accent –there was the Auld Alliance mind you –and Scotland’s very own Shirr Sean playing a Spaniard with a Scots accent? All this fighting stuff and tearing out throats with your teeth would be right up the Wolf’s street.
Okay, so the Dulux face paint isn’t exactly fetching when it comes to fashion statements, that hard strength in leather would appeal to Kara. The Wolf might find Murren’s murder a bit hard to take.
4 Local Hero
Local hero? Now that would have to be the Wolf.
5 Gregory’s Girl Hmmm. She’s a girl and she’s certainly different from any he’s ever known so this might appeal to the Wolf given Kara is much the same. Also it’s a coming of age scenario which neither got the chance to do.
Tommy and the gang get off an Intercity train to “get some fresh air” on a hike at Corrour railway station, which is located on Rannoch Moor, not far from Glancoe. Imagine what happens next when the Brotherhood of Wolves spot them…..
7 Shallow Grave
Bodies in secret graves in the woods might sound a bit more up my other heroines’ street, but I’m pretty sure Kara and the Wolf might exchange a few glances here about her father.
8 Greyfriar’s Bobby
Oh come on….I don’t know about Callm and Kara, but I can tell you now Dug would just love Bobby. She’d bat her doggy eyelashes no trouble at all.
Are you kidding? The above scene was shot in Glen Etive which is just around the back of Glencoe. Although I’m pretty sure that knowing every nook and cranny as he does, the Wolf would soon suss that the bulk of these ‘Highland’ scenes were shot down south. He’d be happy though that James Bond’s father was from Glencoe. Why did Ian Fleming decide on that? Cos he liked Shirr Sean’s portrayal of Bond.
10 The Thirty Nine Steps
Richard Hannay goes into hiding in Scotland. Okay somewhere in Galloway might not be anywhere near Glencoe, the Wolf still might be giving Kara a few prickling glares here about her sister’s bodyguard hiding out in Lochalpin. Then, of course there’s the sort of ‘bundling’ scene. Two people forced to spend the night together…..
Oh…all right…cue for a Kara, Callm extract.
“Don’t like bundling?” The pile of furs sank beneath his foot as he reached for a dry tunic from the rope-line that dangled above her head. “Damned right I don’t. So don’t you start giving me any maidenly grief that you’re here and so am I. Or how I shouldn’t have brought you. Do you understand?” He snatched the tunic from the line. “Because so far as I’m concerned for tonight, you’re here…bed. I’m over there…chair.”
“A cave. You live in a cave.” She didn’t mean to sound so forlorn about it but he did, didn’t he? An underground cavern, to be precise. How could he? And how could she be so stupid, when what she needed was to be amenable, nice.
He whistled and Dug sprung up. “And she’s there. In the middle.”
“Dug? Dug? Dug’s a—” Kara swallowed a gulp. Oh, the night was full of surprises wasn’t it? Horrible ones. And now if that glower was anything to go by, she had offended him further.
“Don’t you go telling me you never saw the damn cur’s minus more than a front paw. No one’s that stupid. Not someone here to be married. Not someone who’s got—”
“But you call her Dug.”
He tossed the tunic down. “Perhaps that’s because she doesn’t like being called bitch.”
To love, honor, and betray…