For the past year, Iâ€™ve been living in a fantasy world.Â The scene is Loch Awe, Scotland, at a magical place called St. Conanâ€™s Kirk.
Itâ€™s a very real place, one that really exists â€“ and not just in my mind.
Itâ€™s made of stones and timbers, spires and cloisters, flying buttresses and secret abbeys with curved staircases carved in stone.
The water on the loch is glassy smooth, so still that clouds float in the water and the stray rhododendron petals gliding over the surface never sink.
Bad things happen in my fantasy world, just like they do in the real world, but something good always comes out of them, and not twenty years later, when youâ€™ve forgotten all about the inciting incident and are too old to care, but in short order.
Because in my fantasy world, there are only happy endings. And they occur in a reasonable amount of time â€“ less than 400 pages.
I should know â€“ Iâ€™ve been living there for months. Itâ€™s a bit like slipping off on a vacation. You can sleep until noon if you want to, and you get to decide what it is you want to do every morning â€“ which can be whatever in the world you want it to be. You can eat whatever it is that you want to, because youâ€™re on vacation. There are no restrictive diets or rules or deadlines or obligations. Anything goes. Anything can happen, and usually does. Whatever yer fancy.
You see, in my fantasy world, Iâ€™m the Captain of the Starship Enterprise, and when I say, â€œMake it so,â€ it is.
So a day ago, when I wrote the last page of Wild Rose, the first in my Scottish Wildflower Trilogy, I felt like I was sinking into the bottomless abyss of Nothing. The story ended and now, Iâ€™ve got nothing to do (well, really I do, but nothing I want to).
I miss Rose already, and Ian MacCraig, and their dilemmas, and wondering what theyâ€™re going to do, and how theyâ€™re going to feel.Â I even have a hankering to see Digby again, and Torey MacDougal, and the church ladies. How Iâ€™m going to get on without them, I really donâ€™t know.
Itâ€™s a magical place â€“ a book, that is â€“ and once youâ€™ve been to a good one, you never want to leave. At least I donâ€™t.
So Iâ€™ll tell you a secretâ€¦ Wild Rose has a surprise ending, and it happens in Tobermory, on the Isle of Mull, off the west coast of Scotland â€“ another favorite place of mine.
I canâ€™t tell you exactly how, because Iâ€™ve only just gone there, but the story will live on, and Iâ€™ll get to see Rose and Ian again. So will you, if you take the ferry and come to visit.
You see, thereâ€™s a bonny lass called Isabelle, and a gent who calls himself Michael St. Dawndalyn, and an evil, evil man named Damien whoâ€™s about to cause all kinds of trouble for them. And theyâ€™re going to need Rose and Ianâ€™s help.
Thereâ€™s also a castle, and an old Celtic cemetery, and a keep thatâ€™s in ruins, and so many secretsâ€¦ deep, dark secrets that are bound to come to lightâ€¦
And the story lives on.
(Watch for Wild Rose by Sherrie Hansen, coming in April 2013 from Second Wind Publishing, Blue Belle by Sherrie Hansen, coming in November 2013?, and Shy Violet by Sherrie Hansen, coming inâ€¦ nobody knowsâ€¦)