I’m delighted to welcome fellow Scottish author, Myra Duffy, to the Reading and Writing blog today. I’m already a fan of Myra’s Isle of Bute series of cosy crime novels featuring Alison Cameron, and I love this new departure into romance with a touch of suspense. The horse livery story line, Scottish setting and enigmatic Russian hero make Love is Another Country a very enjoyable read!
Welcome, Myra, and thank you for sharing your inspiration and background to changing genres. First a little about the book.
Love is Another Country
Isla Scott is devastated to learn that her beloved Kilrossie livery stables will have to be sold to pay family debts, leaving her with the problem of finding somewhere to live and to stable her horse, Destiny. Help arrives in the person of Andrei Petrov, an enigmatic Russian, but Isla is suspicious of his motives for wanting to buy the property.
When Andrei offers her accommodation at the Lodge House and a job looking after the livery, Isla reluctantly accepts. But is her decision to stay on at Kilrossie because of Destiny, or is there another reason? And how exactly has Andrei made his money, what is his true relationship with the glamorous Marta and why is he so interested in helping Isla, when the sale of Kilrossie should be no more than a business transaction?
Although I’m probably best known for my series of cosy crime novels set on the Isle of Bute, I have written short stories in a number of different genres, including romance and even science fiction.
I like to challenge myself when writing and like many authors, I’ve a number of novels started, but not yet finished. I decided that I wanted to publish Love is Another Country as a way of moving some of the characters out of my head! This novel was well received in the category of Romantic Novels at the Scottish Association of Writers conference a couple of years ago and it seemed the natural place to start.
I really enjoyed writing the story of Isla Scott’s attempts to keep the family livery stables as a going concern and the hero, Andrei Petrov, provided a bit of a challenge. Of course one of the main characters is Destiny, Isla’s horse. If she loses Kilrossie, will she have to sell Destiny?
Inspiration for the story
Although I don’t ride, my daughter has long had a love of horses and I spent a lot of time when she was younger taking her to the stables where her horse was kept, not to mention driving all over the country to equestrian competitions and helping to look after it. I well remember winter evenings roaming over pitch dark fields with a torch trying to call her horse in. Fortunately my daughter can now drive herself!
As I learned more about them, I grew to realise what interesting animals horses are and the fictional Kilrossie, where my heroine Isla Scott lives, seemed a natural setting for my story. Her horse, Destiny, is an amalgam of various horses I’ve met over the years.
As for my hero, Andrei Petrov, I’m not sure where he came from – nor why he’s Russian. But that’s the way a writer’s imagination works sometimes, I guess!
And a very good hero he is, Myra!
About the Author
Myra Duffy writes both fiction and non-fiction: her first success was winning a national writing competition at the age of thirteen.
Her non-fiction (a series of fifteen Management and Training books) was very successful, but in recent years she has returned to her main interest of writing fiction and has had short stories featured in a variety of magazines and journals.
She is best known for her Isle of Bute cosy crime novels. Her latest, Bad Blood at Rothesay Castle, was published in November 2016.
Myra says, “Love is Another Country is my first romantic novel. There are no dead bodies in this story, but there is some suspense and I enjoyed the challenge of writing in a different genre.”