On the Edge
by Claire Gillies
GENRE: Women’s Fiction, romance,
Catherine MacGregor spends life daydreaming her way out of the perils of a dead-end job, and a dwindling love-life. Rather than face imminent redundancy, Cat finds herself giving up her life in the city, and moving to a remote Scottish island for a fresh start.
Unlocking her passion for art, things have never looked better, until the handsome but elusive musician Patrick Flannagan takes to the stage, complicating her best-laid plans.
Cat’s past could be catching up with her at last. Can she unlock her own secrets, and learn to love again, in time to save her brave new beginnings?
Before Cat could grasp her drink, she was approached by a younger man who looked a little nervous.
“Would you like to dance?” With his open, earnest baby-face, Cat put him at about eighteen, and was flattered.
“Yes, why not!” She fanned her face, trying to recover from the previous dance, ready to launch into another. This one was different, still with a deal of twirling, but with variations involving kicks and a burst of graceful hopping. Cat laughed as she missed a few steps, trying to keep up both with the music and her partner. She loved the movement and the strength of the steps; they made her feel so alive, like her stint swimming in the sea earlier that month. Her partner spun her around one last time, and the music stopped suddenly, and everyone clapped again. The fiddler started playing on his own, a much slower waltz to which Cat was about to start gliding with her partner, until a cough came from behind them.
“May I interrupt?” Patrick smiled, and looked down at them both.
“We’re just about to dance!” the boy said “Go find your own partner Paddy!”
“Come on now, Archie!” laughed Patrick, “you know I’m only good at the slow dances and there’s lots of girls lined up by the wall over there just waiting for you to ask them!”
The boy looked at Cat, then at Patrick, considering his prospects for a few moments. “OK then,” he finished reluctantly, handing his partner over without any more complaint, heading quickly in the direction of the waiting girls.
More about the Author:
Do you listen to music while you write? Why or why not?
I’m a music lover. I’ve always been interested in seeking out new bands or composers. I’m particular about music and love the genres of world music, folk, rock, indie, shoegaze, classical, funk – the list could go on. Some friends have called me a “music snob”, maybe they’re right… I simply know what I like and what I don’t!
When it comes to writing, up until now I have gravitated towards no singing, as I’m easily distracted. I am a lover of soundtracks, and in particular ‘period drama’ movie soundtracks. I share this interest with my fellow author friend HD Coulter and we keep each other abreast of new soundtracks. I have even spent many an hour searching the internet in pursuit of music from an obscure tv show from the nineties, to find a dead end – the soundtrack was never released.
Writing my novel On The Edge, I immersed myself in the same music I would listen to on a day-to-day basis. When I lived on the Orkney isles, I would pull on my waterproof gear, shove on my big headphones and walk to my pub job. I felt content in my own world, cosy almost, as I made my way in all extreme weather conditions! Marching along the cobbled streets, I escaped into the music in my ears; glancing out at the rough sea from time to time, then a customary hello to the town cats (none appeared to have homes, but lurked around happily getting attention from passers-by as they kept eager lookout for the nearest rat!) It was one of my favourite walks.
When I listen to the following soundtrack music, I think of Orkney now.
Brideshead Revisited, The Santa Claus, North and South (Elizabeth Gaskell), and Little Women (1995). I would listen to these through all seasons…well, apart from the Santa Claus one. The Santa Claus reminds me of the snow blizzard that left me stranded on the island for many days, but the winter wonderland scene and mulled wine handouts from the local cafe more than made up for it!
So, for the first novel On The Edge, I listened to strictly no singing, but with different books comes different feelings. I wanted to capture a new mood for my next novel From Scotland with Love (due for release later this year!). Instead of purely music, I thought about what music my main character would listen to. I found the perfect two playlists on YouTube: Wanderlust (by Alex RainBird) and Best indie Folk of 2019 (by Indie Folk Central), they both were on constant rotation and captured how I saw the story.
For me it’s important to be flexible and see what elevates my inspiration. I listen to what feels good and what gets my creative juices flowing (even as I write this guest blog post, I am listening to a calming classical music!) Silence is not for me; music is the key that opens up my creativity.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Born and raised in the Highlands of Scotland, Claire’s homeland continues to be a stream of inspiration for her. A clothing designer too, Claire (Lorna) creates one-off bespoke garments using Scottish tweeds and tartans.
Claire currently splits her time between Scotland and Australia with her lovely Irish husband. She is a cat lover (without the cat) and can be found either drinking coffee, researching the best cake haunts, or watching yet another costume drama!
The book is on sale for only $0.99.
Claire Gillies will be awarding a signed copy of the book. (International) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js