Well may you wonder what an Australian woman is doing writing about Scottish history. As a part of the many voluntary migrations of Scots seeking the dream of a new life, my Scottish kin came from Fife in the early 1900’s to Australia; to great hardship, as it happened, but they succeeded, in the end, transforming a rough bush block into a productive orchard in a small fruit-growing area. This mountainous region offered seasonal change and a cool climate more suited to those from northern climes. Two decades ago, my family sought relief from the coastal heat and humidity and we bought an old farmhouse with glorious views over the border ranges. My sons are grown now and follow their own paths whilst my husband and I live happily in our mountain kingdom with a wealth of Australian wildlife.
During my childhood, my grandmother lived with us. Memories of her singing the songs of the old country remain with me to this day. A chance letter by my mother to the editor of the Dunfermline Press led to establishing links with long lost family in Scotland. Three generations later, our families are closer than ever. Scotland has become my spiritual home, especially after living and working in Edinburgh with my family, and many subsequent visits.
Over the past decade, my passion for Scottish medieval history has flourished, providing a solid foundation of research for this story. Orkney holds a special place in my heart; its unique history and folklore have enriched my life. More recently, visits to Norway to research this tale brought me to a new understanding of how Britain and Scandinavia are linked indelibly.
Sadly, I am not an historian. However, as a retired clinical social worker, I am and always will be a student of human behaviour. What motivates and drives us to do what we do remains the same, whether we live in the twenty first or the thirteenth century.
I have a great respect for the characters and their experiences and a humble, but sincere desire to see their story told.
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