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Friday, July 20, 2012

Guest: K D Grace

Landscape and Inspiration
By K D Grace

Thanks for having me on your fabulous site, Kristabel. It’s a pleasure to be here.

I’ve never written anything in which the setting was as important as it is with Body Temperature and Rising and the Lakeland Heatwave Trilogy, nor have I ever written anything in which the plot and the characters fit the location so perfectly.

I’ve set the Lakeland Heatwave Trilogy in the English Lake District, which is one of my favourite places on the planet. The landscape itself offered me inspiration for everything from hot sex al fresco, to cave sex, to abandoned slate mines to creepy magical places for demon encounters, to glorious spring days with hawthorn in bloom and black birds in full song. And everything in between.

In the opening scene of Body Temperature and Rising, my heroine, Marie Warren, goes out for a nice sunny walk on the fells of Maiden Moor and High Spy, but gets caught in an unexpected mist and, in the process, has a magical sexual encounter that changes her life forever and brings her to the attention of a very nasty demon. The inspiration for that scene came from a walk my husband and I did on those same fells above Keswick and Derwent Water several years ago. We weren’t far from civilisation, and there was very little chance of us actually getting lost. And yet when the mist came down and we could no longer see the path in front of us, it was the easiest thing in the world for imagination to run wild. And it was certainly easy to see how someone could get lost and come to serious harm or serious magic. That experience stuck with me and influenced a great deal of the magic and the atmosphere of BTR.

Before I go any further, I’d like to clarify for my American readers just what a fell is, since there seems to be a bit of a language barrier, and some people have thought that the fells are woodlands. A fell is an upland stretch of open countryside, a moor or a barren or stony hill. And the fells in the Lake Distrit are formidable. They include Scafell Pike the highest mountain in England! The word comes from Middle English and Old Norse and means mountain or hill. There! Language barrier crossed!

Completely different from the glorious ridge walking of Maiden Moor and High Spy is Raven Crag. I don’t know how many walks I’ve done in the Lake District, but I’ve climbed at least a hundred fells, and Raven Crag is the first and only fell that I found truly creepy. The ascent up Raven Crag is gentle, and yet it feels heavy and thick, almost like one has stepped into another dimension. It’s a walk through dense dark evergreen forest, made treacherous by masses of thick gnarled tree roots, exposed above ground. When we made our ascent several of us took spills because the roots were slick from rain.

A little way from the top there’s a place where the trees give way to high grass and bog, which rises to a hill with earthworks where there used to be an Iron Age fort, though nothing is left now but the view of the beck running below. The bog, the dark thick forest, the mist that seems always to be just waiting to descend made the whole walk seem other-worldly and silent. The thing about Raven Crag is that it doesn’t feel like a crag at all. It’s too claustrophobic, too tight-fitting. It’s an easy ascent, not steep, and there’s no scrambling. However there’s only one way up, unless you’re a climber. At the top of the fell, the trees open up onto a precipitous cliff. Though it’s frequented by rock climbers, it’s also a suicide spot. Voila! I had the perfect location for sinister paranormal activity.

It was the inspiration of such a rich and varied landscape that made the Lakeland Heatwave trilogy come alive in my imagination and made the magic seem so believable that I almost expected to read in one of Alfred Wainwright’s definitive guide books about the Lakeland Fells that he’d had a chance encounter on Maiden Moor with a mysterious man in a vintage black suit.

American transplant to the Lake District, Marie Warren didn’t know she could unleash demons and enflesh ghosts until a voyeuristic encounter on the fells ends in sex with the charming ghost, Anderson, and night visits from a demon.

To help her cope with her embarrassing and dangerous new abilities, Anderson brings her to the Elementals, a coven of witches who practice rare sex magic that temporarily allows needy ghosts access to the pleasures of the flesh.

Deacon, the demon Marie has unleashed, holds an ancient grudge against Tara Stone, coven high priestess, and will stop at nothing to destroy all she holds dear. Marie and her landlord, the reluctant young farmer, Tim Meriwether, are at the top of his list. Marie and Tim must learn to wield coven magic and the numinous power of their lust to stop Deacon’s bloody rampage before the coven is torn apart and more innocent people die.
More info and excerpt

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About the Author:
K D Grace was born with a writing obsession. It got worse once she actually learned HOW to write. There's no treatment for it. It's progressive and chronic and quite often interferes with normal, everyday functioning. She might actually be concerned if it wasn't so damned much fun most of the time.

K D's critically acclaimed erotic romance novels, The Initiation of Ms Holly, The Pet Shop and Lakeland Heatwave Book 1: Body Temperature and Rising are published by Xcite Books and are available from all good paperback and eBook retailers.

Her erotica has been published with Xcite Books, Mammoth, Cleis Press, Harper Collins Mischief Books, Black Lace, Erotic Review, Ravenous Romance, Sweetmeats Press and Scarlet Magazine.

Find out more about K D Grace on her website, Facebook, and Twitter.

1 comment:

  1. Hi KD I found this blog through twitter, and really enjoyed learning what a fell and a bog are. I'm putting your books on my list.