I'm house and dog sitting in the country again. I've been here over three weeks now and am enjoying every minute of it.
I chose to live by the sea when I retired because I have always loved the seaside. There is something heart-shakingly beautiful about white capped waves crashing onto the beach in stormy weather. On peaceful days I enjoy strolling along and watching the waves shimmer and glisten in the rays of the sun. And when it is pouring rain outside, I don't feel guilty curling up with a book because I know that at the first opportunity I'll be back out there enjoying it all. Just now the first boats are back at the quays ready for the long summer days ahead.
Here in the country, when I look out the front door across the valley I am awed by the mountain range. I watch them for signs that the weather is going to change, something I learned in my childhood. They make me feel as if I belong while at the same time I am daunted by the idea that they have been there since time immemorial.
There is something unapproachable and mysterious about mountains, I always think. That is why I set my first murder mystery in a (fictitious) mountain village. Death in a Lonely Place is basically a detective story. I have not included gory details, instead I have challenged the reader to find out who the perpetrator is. The story takes places under the shadow of Ardnabrone mountain with its legend of claiming three lives a year and the main character, Sergeant Alan Murray, has problems of his own.
I am currently writing the next novel in the series and it occurred to me the other day that I find it easier to write here in the country with that mountain range in the background. Maybe it is just the peace and quiet of the country, the lack of distraction. Whatever the reason, the words just flow every morning. Sure, this is the first draft and I am going to have to cut and pull and smooth out the story before it is ready for publication. But that's the fun of writing. Which reminds me, I must get started!