I recently returned from an adventure/research trip in Ireland and Spain. Here are some highlights:
Tea with Erika Everest at the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin.
I met fellow fairytale author Erika several years ago in Scotland, and we cohosted a fairytale-themed talkshow during lockdown. It was so fun to catch up with her, and the tea was delicious. Afterward, we walked around Dublin and checked out the local castle. You can find out more about Erika's books here.
Walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain
I studied the cathedral in Santiago in a medieval music and art class in college. When I looked into visiting it during my time in Spain, I discovered that this is still an active pilgrim route that thousands of people walk each year. So I decided to do it myself and walked the last 110 kilometers (about 70 miles) of the way. It was harder than I expected, but also an amazing experience. I met some lovely people on the trail and also discovered that part of Spain is basically Castana from Lady Alma. There were roses everywhere!
Visiting "Aughrim Castle"
The Rock of Cashel was my inspiration for Aughrim Castle in The Blacksmith's Dilemma, so of course I had to visit it! I should note that there is actually a town called Aughrim in Ireland, but they don't have a castle. They do, however, have a blacksmith's forge! I jumbled a few real locations together while writing Blacksmith, which made visiting Ireland an interesting experience. I had to remind myself several times that I needed to book a bus ticket to Cashel, not Aughrim, to see the castle.
If you have no idea what The Blacksmith's Dilemma is, check out my newsletter! I send free fiction to subscribers every month, and Blacksmith is my current project. It's a lovely romance set in an Irish castle.
Want to know more about what I did in Europe? My Patrons got exclusive blog posts and pictures of my trip as I traveled. You can still see them on my Patreon for just $1 a month, and you'll also get a lot of other cool behind the scenes content.
A. G. Marshall
Bonus scenes, glimpses into my writing process, and more!
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