The Rogue, the first book set at my fictional medieval estate of Ravensmuir, is on sale this month for just 99cents. I thought we’d talk today about my inspiration for that holding.
In 1992, I visited Scotland for the first time and fell in love with it. What gorgeous inspiring countryside – and the castles were the best part of all. I toured a lot of them, most in ruins, but Tantallon left a very strong impression on me. It’s an old keep with a fascinating history. It also has a striking location.
The picture above shows Tantallon’s gates from the west, as you approach the keep. That high curtain wall defends the point, effectively sealing it off from attack. The North Sea is directly behind it, and in the distance to the left is an island called Bass Rock. I added a moat and a defensive hedge to Ravensmuir, as well as a flock of protective ravens – who just might communicate with the laird.
This second picture shows Tantallon from the sea side. You can see the defenses, the secured bailey, and what might be entrances to caves below. There was piracy along this coast and caves were used for hiding plunder. I decided that Merlyn’s father, Avery, would have taken one look at a ruined keep on a point much like this one and decided it was exactly what he needed to disguise his trade in religious relics.
You can see more of my inspiration for Ravensmuir on my Pinterest pages:
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