As I have said in previous blogs, I have always believed that a writer is influenced to some degree by where they live and work. I know it is a gross generalisation but I am sure that a writer writing in a dark, cold landscape produces different fiction than one in a bright sunny one.

Certainly, if you look at the great Scandinavian and Icelandic crime writers their work is influenced by their surroundings and darkness permeates their work.

I have always written best in Winter – something about darkness reaches deep into my soul - and since we moved to live on a windswept hillside in Scotland a year ago, I have found my creativity well and truly sparked. Scenes have been written which were inspired by the hills surrounding our home and an entire novel was inspired by a thought based on the view from the kitchen in our new home.

The landscape also inspired me to launch a weekend writing course from my home for writing groups who may be seeking inspiration for their writing and fancy writing in a 160-year-old house on a hill. The course gives them the chance to learn more about how writers draw inspiration from their surroundings.

The cost is £95 per person, including catering, and you can find out more by emailing deangriss@btinternet.com. The course is non-residential but advice can be offered on local B and Bs if required.

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