Christina here. As writers, we do a lot of background research for our books and personally I like to go and look at the settings for my stories if at all possible. Having decided that my hero and heroine were going to end up in the north-east of England (Northumbria and Mercia as it was called in the 9th century), I really wanted to visit those places for myself to see first-hand what it was like. I persuaded my poor long-suffering husband to come with me, and as we had two very elderly dogs they came along for the ride too. And what a ride it turned out to be!
A 775 English miles roundtrip in two days – it was what I would definitely call an epic journey. And all done in torrential rain, which is very tiring for the driver (mostly my husband). But somehow it all worked out very well and although this might sound very fanciful, I actually felt as though the Norse gods were with me, helping me to find exactly what I needed. Because the weirdest thing happened – although it was raining the entire two days – and I’m talking deluge here, not just a shower or two – each time we stopped at a site I wanted to see and photograph, the rain stopped for just long enough to give me a chance to do that. Coincidence? I started to doubt it. I mean, what are the chances?