For this story, I didn’t really need to look for a place. A place has been calling me for a while. The place is called Murlough Bay and is on the Antrim coast, Northern Ireland.
The last time I was at Murlough Bay was in July 2012 at the time of the Venus Transit. To see the transit, I had to be at the cliffs above the bay just before dawn. Unfortunately, I arrived 24 hours early for the transit (:P – I’m very keen) but I did get to witness a fabulous, eerie sunrise.
As the sun rose, it illuminated the Mull of Kintyre, Rathlin and the Scottish islands of Islay and Jura. It was beautiful. And it was very spooky. The kind of spooky that magics your feet into the ground. The kind of spooky that turns your breath to glass.
I got out a map of the area and soaked in all the place names. I then ploughed (yes, it was quite a demanding read!) through the relevant sections of a book called The Moyle Shore. This book offered me some fascinating information that will be really useful for building the story’s set.
The book described how local fisherman would have caught glashan (coalfish) and lythe (pollock). It talked about coalmines and lime kilns; about an ancient church surrounded by healing clay; about pilgrimage routes; and about rocks in the sea with special names.
Yup. There is magic in this place. And if I can weave the magic of this place into my story… well, that story might just be potent enough to unmagic a body’s feet from the ground or turn glass breath into stardust.
Oh – and the story has a name now : The Merrow Of Murlough Bay. The story likes it 🙂 .
I am just going outside and may be some time.