Mention research and many people will immediately think of dry text books or hours spent in the library or online with the mighty Google. One of my favourite forms of research is visiting places that might feature in stories or novels. And that's exactly what we did at the weekend.
Loch Lomond is almost on our doorstep and I love investigating its many areas around the vast loch and the stunning scenery at all times of the year. This particular visit was to the Shores, a slightly more recent complex with shops, Sea Life aquarium and lovely walks by the loch where you can hire canoes, pedal boats, or bikes. The photos is of the old Maid of the Loch which is now a permanent historical feature at the Shores.
I made straight for the huge antique shop on one floor as it's an absolute Aladdin's cave of fascinating items, large and small, and it requires many visits to properly see even half the contents. What better excuse to return? I was also pleased to see the Farmer's Market spread out alongside the loch, with the various wonderful Scottish fare.
Some of this features in the contemporary novel I've yet to finish and it certainly made me focus a little more on my characters' visit to this part. Obviously, the novel scene also moves the story on a little but I could imagine my hero and heroine walking along there beside me. I'm sure most writers enjoy these enjoyable days out that double as research!
Meanwhile, if you're looking for some new books, you might be in with a chance of winning free copies. Penny Estelle will be having her second Christmas in October post today (its every Monday and Thursday) and The Jigsaw Puzzle is one of her featured books.
Hope you all had a great weekend.