Thursday, 14 August 2014

Writing - The Ghost Village of Pollphail

Overlooking Loch Fyne in Argyll and Bute, Scotland is the ghost village of Pollphail. It is an ideal source of inspiration for stories. I use the plural because the fact that it is a deserted village, doesn't tie a writer down to one particular genre. When a source of inspiration triggers those magic writing phenomena in your head open your eyes further and consider all the options.


The village was built in the 1970s to house workers on a construction yard during the oil boom. When demand didn't materialised the village was never populated and it is now up for sale.

 The really surprising thing about artists, whether they draw, paint, sculpture, write or whatever, is when a canvas becomes available they put it to good use. 

The derelict nature of the area lends itself to 'spookiness' even on a warm, slightly breezy, summer's day. It could trigger ideas of  vampires and zombies.  I could see a party of walkers being set upon and having to take shelter in this nest of problems.
Although the major focus of my writing to date has been on the Steele series of novels I also have a dystopian story published Cessation which is set on the moors of Yorkshire and follows the failure of electricity and all that entails. If you're not sure of the importance of that source of power consider everything that runs on batteries or mains electricity and imagine life without. (Cessation is available from all major book stores websites). 

The vacant properties in Pollphail have that dead, empty eyed quality which triggers thoughts and ideas and you can see fractured groups of people trying to populate a village distant from the dysfunctional towns and cities of a post apocalyptic Scotland. 

 Imagine the trials and tribulations of the human animal, what Dr Desmond Morris termed 'The Naked Ape', in such a place without the benefits of technology.

Perhaps the one tone that such a village does not allow is happiness!

God Bless