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Travel to Under a Summer Skye with Sue Moorcroft

  • Submitted: 19th June 2024

A Summer in Skye with Sue!

Travel to Under a Summer Skye with Sue Moorcroft. Just the perfect time of year for a visit to the isle of Skye. Sue Moorcroft has packed your case and is holding out the boarding pass. Are you coming?

Map of locations in Under a Summer Skye

Under a Summer Skye Sue Moorcroft

Map of locations in Under a Summer Skye

The Isle of Skye a place I’d always wanted to visit. It’s so beautiful, with mountains and rock formations as well as white cottages and the sea. Its importance to the story is that it’s somewhere remote from Thea’s earlier life in Suffolk – a perfect place for her to hide. Having been known for her role in a reality TV series and recognisable for wacky coloured hair and facial piercings, it proves a good place for her to resume a more natural appearance, too.

SUE MOORCROFT

(c) SUE MOORCROFT

Map of locations in Under a Summer Skye

Adoption was a secondary theme in my last winter book, The Christmas Love Letters.  My editor liked the way I handled it so she sounded me out about writing a trilogy (now the Skye Sisters trilogy). We came up with the idea of me writing about three adoptive sisters and giving each a book. I have friends who were adopted, so I know that some have a tangle of emotions around identity and ‘what if’. However, being adopted is only a part of Thea’s story. She once did the wrong thing for the wrong reason, and she wants to put a lot of distance between her and it.

The bridge to Skye…

Map of locations in Under a Summer Skye

I know some authors can produce authentic settings from YouTube videos or TV shows, but I like to be there. I like to see the sights, feel the atmosphere and even smell the smells. It’s also great to get into conversation with local people. I also like to visit information points and build a collection of leaflets, maps or local newspapers. I try the local cuisine, so I’ve now sampled the delights of haggis, and stovies. I also create a library of photos and videos. On this occasion, I wanted to find the perfect spot to put ‘my’ village of Rothach, too. I visited Skye once in summer and once in winter.  The second in the trilogy, A Skye Full of Stars, is set in winter!

Portree

Map of locations in Under a Summer Skye

I bought a book on Skye and read it and all those leaflets I mentioned.  I do like to read around a subject, so I can absorb facts about the place alongside my own impressions. Also, websites like isleofskye.com and visitscotland.com are gold dust. When it comes to factual research, I’m lucky that my brother does a lot of the initial work for me. So, for instance, when I needed to send Thea and Dev to Brittany, he worked out all the possible routes and how long each might take.

Map of locations in Under a Summer Skye

That’s one snag about Skye – it’s not that near a major airport and the nearest regional airport is about two-and-a half-hours away in Inverness. Unfortunately, the airport I needed in Britanny is Quimper. There are just a couple of flights a week (in summer) between the UK and Quimper. From London! He looked at trains/ferries/driving/flying combinations for me, and I chose the ones that fit my plot.

Rothach (c) Sue Moorcroft

Rothach (c) Sue Moorcroft

Map of locations in Under a Summer Skye

Rothach (pronounced Roth-arsh) is a village nestled in a scoop of land in the south of Skye. It’s on the Sleat (pronounced slate) Peninsula, overlooking Rothach Bay which is part of the Sound of Sleat. Unlike most of the island, the cottages are a rainbow of colours, like a mini Portree (the colourful island capital).

Map of locations in Under a Summer Skye

The land’s steep, with rocky patches and scree between the cottages, and the lanes are mainly single track. Loch View doesn’t overlook a loch (it overlooks the bay and the sound). There’s also no Chapel in Chapel Road. There is a pub called the Jolly Abbot, though. The beach is made of rocks, pebbles and gritty sand, and the bay’s a great shelter for both boats and swimmers. Above, on a headland, is Rothach Hall. This is owned and restored by the Larsson family to be their second home. That’s where Thea and one of her sisters, Ezzie, work.

Broadford Bay

Map of locations in Under a Summer Skye

I’d almost decided to place Rothach just north of Broadford Bay, until I arrived in Skye. Then I saw it wasn’t secluded or interesting enough. When I drove over the moor to the Sleat Peninsula, though, I fell in love with a village called Camus Croise:

Map of locations in Under a Summer Skye

There was a bay nearby, with no building but what looked like a ruined chapel. In my head, this became the chapel missing from Chapel Road. Camus Croise doesn’t have the coloured cottages as most in the Hebrides are stone or painted white. However, I loved the tiny lanes with hydrangeas and gorse lolling over garden walls.

Themes in your book?

Escape, adoption and birth family, the past, online trolling, doing the right thing for the wrong reasons, sisters.

 

BookTrail Boarding Pass:  Under a Summer Skye

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