Just published – Thurso author pens folklore sequel
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The legends of Caithness were the inspiration for Thurso author Gail Anthea Brown, whose second novel Pieces of Sky and Stone was released as an eBook at the weekend.
The book is the sequel to Gail’s first novel, Castles of Steel and Thunder, and concludes the story of Sysa Steel, who left Caithness for a mysterious fairy realm in book one.
Both books were inspired by the legends of the far north, and Castles of Steel and Thunder features Gail’s reimagining of tales such as the Piper of Windy Ha’ and the Olrig Selkie Grave.
In Pieces of Sky and Stone, Sysa returns to Caithness, where she finds herself seeking out a healing stone – and making a surprising discovery about her family’s past.
Gail traces the inspiration for both books back to her days at Thurso High School, when she illustrated a publication for the late Donald Omand called Caithness: Lore and Legend. "Years later, I hope my own books might encourage people to connect with the folklore of the far north in a way that feels accessible for a modern audience,’ she said.
"And while the novels technically sit in the Young Adult category, they can be enjoyed by anyone from secondary school age upwards. At their core, both books are about the power of stories, and the role of beloved people and places in our lives."
Gail added: "Sysa’s love for Caithness is a theme in both novels, and Pieces of Sky and Stone features scenes at Dunnet Beach, Dunnet Head and Thurso River. We are so fortunate here in Caithness to have a landscape that is full of stories, history and inspiration. Caithness and its stories mean everything to me, and I hope that comes across in my books."
Pieces of Sky and Stone is available as an eBook on Amazon at: www.amazon.co.uk/Pieces-Stone-Castles-Steel-Thunder-ebook/dp/B09MWB4NLH/
Gail is currently preparing for the release of the novel in paperback, and can be found on Facebook at Gail Anthea Brown – Caithness Writer and on Instagram at @gailantheabrown.